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Delegates will enjoy homes sweet homes

LIFE at the World Expo 2010 will be special for thousands of official visitors from around the world. Close to the center of the Expo site itself, the Expo Village will offer a practical interpretation of the Expo theme, as Yang Jian reports.

The World Expo 2010 organizer has prepared a cozy home for the delegations of Expo participants. From the Expo Village, visitors will be able to look over the Expo site and the shimmering Huangpu River. They will be able to journey between the Expo site and their rooms in minutes. They can even enjoy visiting replicas of the pubs and bars that were popular in Shanghai in the 1930s.

The Expo Village is at the east end of the Pudong section of the Expo site beside the Huangpu River. The 264,000-square-meter village will take up 5 percent of the total space of the Expo site. The Bailianjing River, a tributary of the Huangpu River, runs between the village and the Expo site, and two bridges link the village and the site. It will be a 10-minute drive to the center where the China Pavilion will stand.

The Expo Village will have 70,000 beds for Expo delegation visitors, says Shi Junjie, deputy manager of the Hotel Department of the Expo Land Holding Co, operator of the Expo Village.

From the Expo Village, delegation visitors will be able to see the Urban Best Practices Area, a practical example of the Shanghai Expo theme, "Better City, Better Life," and the Tower of Harmony, the icon of the Expo, on the other side of the Huangpu River. But the Expo Village itself could even be a better interpretation of the "Better Life" theme and the meaning of harmony.

During the 184-day event, delegations from about 200 countries will live together in the village. So far, 185 countries and 46 international organizations have confirmed their participation in the Expo.

The village will include a five-star hotel, 20 or so apartments and three budget hotels, Shi says.

The framework for the village buildings has been completed and construction is scheduled to be finished at the end of June. The village is due to open in September.

Entering the Expo Village, visitors will first notice the 26-story building which towers above the other buildings in the village. This is the five-star InterContinental hotel, a luxury hotel that will accommodate visiting politicians and VIPs during the Expo. Other buildings are arranged according to height, facing the Huangpu River. The only things that might seem out of place in the spanking new village are some neighboring old and shabby factories.

Those nine battered old factories will house the entertainment areas for the village. They will feature pubs, bars, dance halls and they will be one of the village highlights, Shi says. The replicas of the Western style pubs of Shanghai in the 1930s style will be built inside the factories.

The factories were built nearly a century ago for the country's earliest manufacturing industries.

There will be special rooms for the physically challenged with keyholes and doorknobs set lower for visitors in wheelchairs. The entire village will be accessible for the physically challenged, he says.

Participating countries and organizations need to book hotel rooms before the Expo opens - delegations can apply for up to 12 rooms per country and the village will be able to cater for all the delegations, Shi says.

Section A: VIP area

It has a five-star InterContinental hotel and nine renovated workhouses as clubs, conference rooms, pubs and a multi-purpose hall. The section has 398 rooms and 554 beds.

Section B: Apartment area

It has 17 apartment buildings. Room styles range from one bedroom, one sitting room and one bathroom to three bedrooms, two sitting rooms and two bathrooms. The section has 814 rooms and 3,959 beds.

Section C: Warehouses, canteens, logistics center

A police station will be built in the section.

Section D: Apartment area

It has seven apartment buildings. Room styles are the same as those in section B. The section has 1,142 rooms and 2,181 beds.

Section E: Office area

Office buildings and conference centers will be built in the section.

Section F: Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination

It will be the administrative center of World Expo 2010 and the headquarters of the organizer.

Section H&I: Commercial area

A supermarket and some stores will be built in the sections for Expo delegations.

Section J: Budget hotel area

Hotels include Hanting Inn, GreenTree Inn and Yahsin Business Hotel. The section has 558 rooms and 784 beds.

Expo Village Milestones

February 8, 2007

Construction began on Expo Village.

January 31, 2008

HUBS1, a leading travel distribution marketplace in China, inked an agreement to provide hotel reservation services for Expo Village.

July 10, 2008

Steel and concrete structures were finished.

June 30, 2009

Interior decoration will be completed.

September 31, 2009

Open to delegations on trial basis.

December 31, 2009

Officially open.


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