After months of planning, the final piece of the Al Wasl dome, the iconic landmark of Expo 2020 Dubai, has been lifted into place. The intricate and complex operation of raising more than 800 tons of steel with a margin error of three millimetres required precision engineering. Enclosing a space of 724,000 cubic meters and standing 67.5 meters tall, the 130-meter-wide domed steel trellis crowns the Al Wasl Plaza, a structure that will be the heart of the Expo 2020 site and set to become Dubai’s latest architectural landmark.
Eight hundred engineers and construction technicians carefully monitored the process of raising and positioning the moulded steel in the dome with the aid of GPS indicators to ensure perfect alignment. Al Wasl, which means connection in Arabic, reflects the theme of Expo 2020 Dubai, Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, and involved companies from thirteen countries.
“Crowning Al Wasl Dome was both incredibly exciting and one of the most challenging engineering operations in the world. Lifting such a large and heavy structure involved a huge number of variables. Something as simple as a shift in direction of the wind or change in air temperature could have had a big impact on our calculations, so constant monitoring and reassessment was essential throughout the process.” Sated Ahmed Al Khatib, Chief Development and Delivery Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai.