Expo 2020 Dubai's two-year countdown factsheet [2018]

Key stats revealed from Expo 2020 Dubai's development programme as the clock ticks down

The UAE Pavilion is one of 400+ buildings being constructed for the world expo [image courtesy Expo 2020 Dubai].
The UAE Pavilion is one of 400+ buildings being constructed for the world expo [image courtesy Expo 2020 Dubai].

Expo 2020 Dubai is officially two years away and the countdown has begun to the region’s first world expo that will open its doors on 20 October 2020. A specially choreographed show will be held at Dubai Fountain later today to celebrate the two-year countdown, and the show includes a countdown display on Burj Khalifa’s façade at 8.20pm local time (20:20 on a 24-hour clock). 

As the clock ticks down to the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia’s first world expo, check out key stats and figures from scheme’s development programme, shared with Construction Week by Expo 2020 Dubai.

DESIGN FOCUS: Expo 2020 Dubai's country pavilions

Approximately 180 countries are expected to participate in Expo 2020 Dubai, which has a total capex budget of $6.8bn (AED25bn). The event – which will run for 173 days, closing on 10 April 2021 – is expected to welcome almost 150,000 visitors on non-peak days, with peak day visitor numbers expected to total up to 300,000. 70% of the total visitors are expected to come from outside the UAE. 


  • Total area:
    4.38km2: equivalent to more than 600 football pitches
  • Exhibition area:

  • Site capacity:
  • Total number of buildings:
  • Number of country pavilions:
    180 (approx.): for the first time in World Expo history, each participating country will have its own pavilion
  • Number of personnel currently working on site:
    26,000 (approx.): In H1 2019 at the peak of construction, about 40,000 workers – both manual and non-manual – are expected on site, including employees of third-party stakeholders and participating countries.
  • Number of tower cranes currently on site:

PROGRESS REPORT: Construction at Expo 2020 Dubai site

  • Largest single structure:
    Al Wasl Plaza steel trellis dome: With a diameter of 130m and height of 67.5m, the dome is the size of 16 tennis courts and weighs as much as 500 elephants. 
    • The surface of the dome will act as a 360° projection screen at night, which can be seen from both inside and outside.
  • Concrete poured during the construction of the site’s three Thematic Districts:
  • Number of mature trees currently growing in on-site nursery:
    13,000 (approx.)
  • Number of shrubs currently growing in on-site nursery:
    300,000 (approx.)


  • Number of thematic pavilions:
    Three – Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability 
  • Opportunity Pavilion:
    • Spanning 4,500m2, the pavilion will be concrete-free and use organic and recyclable materials.
    • 111km of woven rope – enough to stretch from Dubai to Ras Al Khaimah – will be used to create the pavilion’s spiral shaped canopy.

VIDEO: Construction Week In Focus | Expo 2020 Dubai's progress

  • Mobility Pavilion:
    • The 320m track running around the pavilion will allow “millions of visitors to see the cutting-edge mobility devices in action”, Expo 2020 Dubai says.
  • Sustainability Pavilion:
    • Through the use of “innovative combinations of technologies”, the facility will explore the potential for buildings to be self-sustaining in water and energy. 
    • Plans for the pavilion include harvesting solar power, as well as water from the air. 
    • The pavilion’s grounds will feature local plants and technology that will reduce the water needs by 75%. 


  • Number of people directly employed by Expo 2020 Dubai:
  • Staffing stats:
    • 62: nationalities of people that make up the Expo 2020 Dubai team
    • 129: people under the age of 30 that are working for Expo 2020 Dubai
    • 51% of the total employees are women

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