Discover Al Wasl Plaza – the centrepiece of Expo 2020 Dubai
Sprawling across 4.38 square kilometres in Dubai South, a single visit won’t be enough to explore everything Expo 2020 Dubai has to offer. But if there’s one thing that will be impossible to miss on every visit, it’s the striking Al Wasl Plaza, which has become the site’s identifying marker.
Al Wasl Plaza was inaugurated in January 2020, but the spectacle truly came to life during the show’s opening ceremony on September 30. A 3,000-member strong audience and millions of spectators across the globe watched in awe as the show was officially declared open against the mesmerising backdrop of Al Wasl Plaza. Stunning sights were projected on the surface of the plaza’s dome, taking audiences on a journey across different worlds, from a lush forest to the Milky Way and more.
The iconic centrepiece of Expo 2020 Dubai, the attraction began making waves even before the event opened to visitors on October 1. Described as the ‘crown jewel’ of Expo 2020 Dubai, Al Wasl Plaza is a remarkable feat of engineering. It links the site’s three Thematic Districts, which reflect the subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, and, hence, is aptly named after the Arabic word for ‘connection’. It signifies a meeting of the site’s pathways and nods to the event’s aim to bring people together from all over the world.
The domed trellis of Al Wasl Plaza is 130 metres wide and 65 metres high, and it weighs an incredible 2,544 tonnes. Its design was inspired by an ancient elaborately fashioned gold ring found at Saruq Al Hadid, an important archaeological site originally discovered by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, while flying his helicopter over the desert. The ring also inspired the intertwined logo of Expo 2020 Dubai.
During the six-month run of Expo 2020 Dubai, the Al Wasl Plaza will serve as the heart of the show with its immersive projection surface that is visible from both inside and outside the plaza. Its sheer size makes it the world’s largest 360-degree projection surface.
Following the opening ceremony, the venue will also host major ceremonies, celebrations, performances and concerts taking place during expo, including the closing ceremony in March. Both during and after the event, it will connect people from all around the world as the beating heart of Expo 2020 Dubai.