District 2020: Another gem in the UAE’s real estate crown

First, there was Expo 2020, and now there will be District 2020. The hugely successful six-month-long Expo 2020, which officially ended on March 31, 2022, has not only done wonders for the real estate market of Dubai, it has also paved the way for District 2020, which is expected to evolve into a sustainable mixed-use community. By all indications, once complete, it will be yet another feather in the real estate cap of Dubai.

What is District 2020?

For the uninitiated, the site used for the Expo 2020 fair is transforming into a 3,000,000 sq m developed area called District 2020, which will include 200,000 sq m of commercial and residential spaces. More than 80% of the built environment of Expo 2020’s site is being repurposed into an integrated mixed-use community that will attract businesses and people to work, live in, and visit. It will be a sustainable city, providing a curated, innovation-driven business ecosystem.

The smart city, located near the Al Maktoum International Airport, will be well-connected to Dubai, and the rest of the UAE, by road. Incidentally, the Expo 2020 metro station, located next to the Al Wasl Gate, will be renamed as District 2020 Metro Station.

Impact on Dubai’s real estate

Expo 2020 has already energized Dubai’s real estate sector, giving it a leg-up and putting it up there with the best in the world. The metamorphosis of the expo site into District 2020 is going to be a game-changer, not just for the realty business but also for the economy as a whole. It will be the next big thing when it comes to choosing an office, a home, or a retail space.

It is already creating a huge buzz among buyers and investors, both local and international, making this the right time to invest in this future-ready space. In fact, even the areas located nearby are expected to benefit tremendously from the transition of Expo 2020 into District 2020. This is evidenced by the higher demand and increased prices of properties in the emirate.

Once complete, District 2020 will also further develop the commercial market in Dubai, in addition to boosting the residential market. It stands to reason that it will become the new commercial hub of the emirate as Dubai World Trade Centre activities are likely to be shifted to its Convention and Exhibition Centre. So, expect businesses and people looking for entrepreneurial and employment opportunities to make a beeline for District 2020.

Interestingly, as much as 80% of Expo 2020’s infrastructure is being reused for creating District 2020. Non-legacy structures are being dismantled, while legacy buildings, such as the UAE Pavilion and the Mobility and Sustainability structures, will remain. The enviable infrastructure of the site, including the roads, parking, and utilities, will also continue to stand.

Recreating and repurposing are being done so methodically that they are becoming the talking points around the world. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Dubai is setting the standards for future world fairs to repurpose purpose-built infrastructure. District 2020 will open its doors to residents, tenants, and workers in different phases between now and October 2022. It will stand out as a unique hotspot, worthy of emulation in other parts of the globe. The biggest beneficiary will, of course, be the property market of the city, but, along with it, the entire business ecosystem is going to transform, with digital innovation and overall well-being improving by leaps and bounds.

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