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UAE, France explore opportunities in mobility

UAE, France explore opportunities in mobility
Erik Linquier, General Commissioner of the French Pavilion and President of the Compagnie Française des Expositions (COFREX)

The UAE and France are exploring multiple opportunities in mobility that will benefit both nations in development and growth in long-term


Sandhya D'Mello

Published: Tue 3 Sep 2019, 10:27 AM

Erik Linquier, general commissioner of the French Pavilion and president of the Compagnie Française des Expositions (COFREX), said: "Our pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is dedicated to mobility. For France, this is an exceptional opportunity to showcase its bold and positive vision of the world of tomorrow.

Our ambition is to demonstrate how our country, through the solutions it develops, converts challenges into opportunities. It is in this spirit that the French Pavilion intends to embody a showcase of our expertise and know-how, particularly in the evolution of cities and territories through digital technology. A digital technology that makes possible the launch of new, intelligent and pleasant cities, but also of more connected territories and better shared knowledge. Technology must be at the service of citizens while helping to protect our planet."

The pavilion is intended to be an embodiment of the expression of mobility desired by France, designed under the theme of "Light, Lights". A strong reference to the nation's humanist commitment but also a translation of the movement, through three dimensions: Philosophical, light illuminates, reveals, spreads ideas and innovations; Symbolic, material light is a source of creativity; and Physical, light connects, transports and transmits data.

The French Pavilion aims to express the vision of its country by combining an ambitious architectural gesture with an immersive scenography. The pavilion was conceived as an architectural and artistic project between sky and earth. A project that goes beyond the usual boundaries of the building, since it is a fusion of material and light.

At the heart of the project is a strong idea; to start the visitor's journey from the outside of the structure and extend the experience smoothly with no interruption once inside. The construction started in the first-half of 2019, with the groundbreaking event hosted in February in Dubai, in the presence of France's Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire.

The construction of the French Pavilion will take 14 months - from May 2019 to June 2020. The scenography elements will be manufactured in France from the fourth quarter of 2019 and will be installed in Dubai in the exhibition space between June and August 2020.

France has close relations with the UAE and is willing to keep on developing them in the years to come.
From a business point of view, over 600 French companies are established in Dubai but relations between the countries are institutional (Alliance Française), economical (French Business Council, Business France), educational (Sorbonne Abu Dhabi) and cultural (Louvre Abu Dhabi).

For companies that have already joined the France Pavilion in its ambition to showcase France and its talents, the Expo 2020 Dubai will be an excellent platform to showcase expertise and sustainable innovations.
The construction officially started after breaking ground of the French Pavilion took place in the Expo 2020 Dubai site on May 2, in the presence of France's Minister for Transport, attaché to the Minister of State, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Élisabeth Borne.

"The French Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will not only be an additional participation of France, but it will also showcase its contributions to the challenges of the 21st century and highlight the fields of AI, data processing and environmental innovations of the country," said Linquier.

Through its participation, France aims to make the mobility of people, goods, territories, ideas and information a key question for resolving the issues surrounding every transition, be it technological, ecological or economic. These are all areas in which France will draw from its strengths in the digital sector in particular, which is now making it possible for new, smart and livable cities to emerge, along with more connected regions and better sharing of knowledge and insights.

Brune Poirson, Secretary of State to François de Rugy, Minister of State, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, unveiled the French Pavilion for the World Expo to be held in Dubai from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021 under the theme of "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future".

"The Expo 2020 Dubai will be a major opportunity to demonstrate that our choices in favour of ecological and inclusive transition are conducive to solutions, meaning and growth - solutions to make daily life respectful of the planet and citizens; meaningful and growing also for our companies, both public and private, whose innovations will delight future visitors to our Pavilion," said Brune Poirson.

The French Pavilion aims to highlight the fastest possible mobility, but also to embody the enlightenment, a symbol since the 18th century of sharing and spreading knowledge. It will promote the French innovation model, which makes it possible to conciliate sustainable development and international business competitiveness for connected and sustainable cities and territories, serving the citizen and the common good.

Designed by the Atelier du Prado Architectes and Celnikier & Grabli, the French Pavilion has light as one of the key inspirations. It was thought as an oasis from which a true canopy of light literally emerges.  

It is a real living space, a meeting point open to the world, a space of economic and tourist attraction for our territories. The "Light, Lights" pavilion will be punctuated by a constantly changing programme during the 24 weeks of the Expo 2020 Dubai.

Promotion, development and attractiveness

"An opportunity to promote an urban model driven by French actors, to support the development of our companies in emerging countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, promotion of the economic and tourist attractiveness of the French territory, Expo 2020 Dubai must enable France to defend its vision of sustainable cities and connected territories," explains Linquier.

Designed to demonstrate how digital technology creates new models of services and uses for the benefit of all, the French Pavilion will embody the best of the French offer, through its partners with diverse profiles: private and public companies, local authorities, academia and research centres, institutions of general interest.

With 1.59 billion euros of French exports, the UAE is France's second largest partner in the Gulf. Close bilateral relations already exist between the two countries. French expertise is also present in Dubai, in strategic sectors such as hydrocarbons and energy, aerospace and transport, distribution, luxury, banking, tourism and services, pharmaceuticals, and arts and culture.

- sandhya@khaleejtimes.com

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