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The Logistics of Dubai Expo 2020

Dubai finally had its moment on 1st October 2021. The World Expo 2020 was originally billed to kick off on 20th October 2020, but a global pandemic had different plans for the arrangements.


Expo 2020 was the first time the festival had been hosted by a country in the MEASA region. Add to that, it was to be the largest event the Middle East has ever hosted and the picture builds of a mammoth delivery from the Emirate.

As the festival now comes to a close (31st March, 2022), we take a look at the logistical challenges faced in bringing it all together. The Expo covers the equivalent of six-hundred football fields, with 3 huge districts, including a hotel, an emergency care room, ambulance and helicopter services

The Gateways

Each district’s entrance was created using twenty-one-meter-high carbon-fibre portals. Made in Bavaria, Germany, they were then transported through Germany to Antwerp over the course of nine months. Moving these huge carbon-fibre structures required extendable trailers, escort vehicles, special permissions and travel strictly by night, once a month along the Autobahn.

From Belgium, they were taken by sea and arrived in their wooden crates at the port of Jebel Ali. From the port, they once again took to the road reaching their final destination, the site for the Expo.

The Projectors

Another insane task, requiring specialist equipment were the eleven projectors, manufactured in Monterry, Mexico. Transported by road to Houston, Texas, the projectors, which weighed 46-tonnes, were loaded onto the largest cargo aircraft on the planet. Specially chartered for the job by UPS, the plane carried all eleven projectors over 5 round trips.

Arriving at the site, the projectors were used in ‘The Dome’ where they projected imagery onto the inside of the translucent ceiling.


A helping hand can be found at the Expo, in the form of robots. Manufactured in China and transported to Dubai, these helpful ‘bots give directions, take photographs, deliver food and greet the visitors.

The robots were provided by Talabat and Terminus Group. Their goal, other than the afore mentioned, is to promote a sustainable last mile delivery service. Each robot is capable of making a thousand deliveries each day, with password protected compartments, meaning multiple deliveries in one journey.

What Next?

With the Expo over and done, the site is set to become a residential and commercial neighbourhood. The plans for ‘District 2020’ feature a residential area, a district used for office and a space for research and technology. District 2020 will become the Expo’s legacy.

Logistical challenges are something we face every day. Be that the enormity of a consignment, a global shortage of drivers, climate change or even a pandemic. The way we react and overcome these challenges is what is important.

At OCS we continually strive to find better, more efficient processes in the way we do business. To read more on how we have grown over the years and what we will be delivering in the future, you can follow this link. To speak to us regarding shipping requirements, you can get in touch here.


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