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EXPO 2020: Cisco appointed to operate, manage and maintain Dubai’s IT network

EXPO 2020 is the first World Expo hosted in the MEASA region (Middle East, Africa & South Asia) and the largest event ever in the Arab region. Extended across 4.38 square kilometers, and with participation from 180 countries, the expo is expected to attract millions of visitors in its six month long run.

It is in many ways a humongous smart site. The scale and complexity of the expo presents unique challenges to organisers. Creating a need for a technology partner that is uniquely qualified and experienced to handle ultra large and complex projects, providing support for planning, design, procurement and project execution.

After taking several options into consideration, Expo organizers chose the Cisco Customer Experience (CX) team. Bringing a system integration approach to its projects, Cisco CX delivers the complete set of skills necessary to ensure project success, acting as a consultant, system integrator and technology provider. Together, Expo 2020 and Cisco are putting in place all the pieces required to meet the challenges of this high-profile project.

CISCO Middle East Managing Director Shukri Eid with Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee
CISCO Middle East Managing Director Shukri Eid with Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee

Cisco will now assume the critical responsibility of managing Expo 2020’s entire IP networking infrastructure – leading end-to-end Network Services Delivery across all Thematic Districts and pavilions, parks and arrival plazas, in addition to Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC), which will be co-located at the Expo site. The company’s appointment as network operator signifies a relationship of ongoing trust and alignment to ensure Expo 2020 Dubai sets the benchmark for all future events, both regionally and around the world.


Partners of mega-projects such as Expo 2020 play a crucial role in ensuring success – before, during and after an event. Without the expertise, dedication and outstanding customer service provided by a partner like Cisco, much of the innovation that powers Expo 2020 Dubai and will deliver our vision for a connected visitor experience  would simply not exist

Mohammed Alhashmi, Chief Technology Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai.


Preparations are already well underway and Cisco’s dedicated workforce is looking forward to collaborating with the Expo 2020 as one team to deliver an event of unprecedented scale and impact.

  • To support connectivity across the entire site, Cisco deployed a Cisco Wi-Fi solution consisting of 8,000 access points, as well as wireless LAN controllers. Providing secure, seamless roaming for attendees on their favorite devices.
  • Cisco Security solutions help safeguard communications, and also provide secure firewall, web and email services.
  • Cisco also deployed Cisco Vision, which solution enables Expo to deliver personalized experiences, centrally managing more than 2,000 types of digital canvasses with ease – from traditional screens to LEDs and mega-screens – across the entire site.
  • Cisco CX also deployed Cisco Physical Security solutions to support Expo’s CCTV network. The solution will employ redundant switches to minimise blind spots, providing security teams with unmatched visibility and coverage to monitor and control access throughout the massive site, and help ensure public safety.


Delayed a year due to COVID-19, Expo 2020 is going to run from 1st October 2021 to 31st March 2022.