All Eyes on The UAE

Filed on October 3, 2021

Expo 2020 Dubai is now open

Marvel. Architectural brilliance, and the rich cultural and futuristic innovations of the UAE comes to life at its Expo 2020 Pavilion.

Showcasing the host country in all its beauty and shine, the UAE Pavilion will cover the length, breadth and depth of this nation across 15,000 sqm.

Designed by renowned Swiss-Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the pavilion is shaped like a falcon in flight and is a “symbolic interpretation of the flow of movement”.

This representation of the national bird as the choice of design is meant to tell the story of the UAE as a global hub and the vision of its leaders to create a peaceful and progressive society with ambitious plans for the future.

Carefully curated lines and spaces blend with green surroundings, shaded arcades and cantilevered wings.

There will be four floors with hospitality at the top, a mezzanine floor, and two floors consist of more than 12,000 sq m of exhibition space.

Already a national monument, the Pavilion is expected to offer an immersive, multisensory experience for visitors as an architectural icon.

Integrated cinematic features will give guests a tour through the emirates’ history, culture and futuristic innovations addressing the main theme of Expo 2020, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

The roof structure consists of a hybrid system between a shell and a portal frame, composed of 28 wings.

This structure can be opened within three minutes, covering a range of 110 and 125 degrees.

The architectural firm explains that a mechanism of 46 hydraulic actuators activate the rotation of the wings, functioning as pistons.

Once activated, hydraulic oil is pushed through these actuators, extending the pistons to open the wings to their full capacity.

There is also a highlight on sustainability. Photovoltaic panels that have been integrated into the roof's structure, which also serve as protection from rain and sandstorms when they are closed, and absorb sunlight to harvest energy once opened.

Another interesting feature is the Oculus skylight, again integrated within the roof of the Pavilion.

The element is placed at a height of 27.8 metres, and mirrors the form of the Expo 2020 logo.

In addition to providing natural daylight into the space, the Oculus is also surrounded with grilles that open in the case of any issues such as accidental fires.

A faceted sphere-like space is situated in the heart of the pavilion featuring an auditorium with a lifting platform that supports the interior seating and transports the audience from one floor to another during audio-visual shows. The auditorium space can accomodate 200 people.

Dubai-based contractor ALEC completed the construction works of the Pavilion at the Expo site.

Al Wasl Plaza

Heart of the Expo

All Eyes on The UAE (

Situated at the epicentre of the Expo 2020 is a 150 metre domed trellis. It will feature a massive immersive projection experience and is expected to make a dramatic impression on the visitors of the Expo.

Expected to be a central hub, this plaza will connect the three thematic districts of the event – Opportunity, Sustainability and Mobility – as well as the other main concourses, including the Dubai Metro link and the UAE Pavilion through its seven different entrances and exits.

Al Wasl, which is traslated to mean ‘connections’ in Arabic was chosen to reflect Dubai’s goal of bringing people together at the Expo as well as the plaza’s location - right at the heart of all the excitement.

All Eyes on The UAE (

The plaza will be topped by a 65-metre-high domed trellis that was inspired by the shape of the Expo 2020 Dubai logo and will act as an immersive 360-degree projection surface.

The dome will be translucent and its immersive 360-degree projection surface will be visible to both those inside and out of the covered plaza. Other features inside this plaza will include fountains, parks and dining venues.

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