Expo 2020 Dubai

Expo 2020 Dubai: French pavilion to showcase the future of transport

anjana@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 19, 2021
Supplied photo

Expo 2020 Dubai will showcase innovations that could set the mobility trend for decades to come.

From carbon-free travel options to electric and hyperloop solutions and light mobility bikes, innovations that will pave the way for efficient and sustainable transportation in the future will be the main focus at the French pavillion, France’s Commissioner-General Erik Linquier told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview.

At a time when mobility is crucial for economic development, Expo 2020 Dubai will showcase innovations that could set the mobility trend for decades to come, he said.

“A lot of French companies have experience in designing global mobility services both for rural and urban areas. We will bring French innovations and how we can contribute to the world,” said Linquier.

For instance, the French company Flying Whales will showcase its trailblazing airship that can transport up to 60 metric tonnes of cargo at altitudes close to 3,000 metres.

The airship is a sustainable solution to lift cargo from previously inaccessible territories as it uses helium — a non-flammable gas that is lighter than air — to take off without consuming fossil energy.

French multinational automobile manufacturer Renault Group will exhibit smart and green vehicles like cars and bikes. Engie, an energy transition leader, will showcase innovations that can transform energy use.

Linquier said that like every world exposition, Expo 2020 Dubai will also have to look forward to solutions for the next 10 or 20 years.

“I can see that in Dubai, the vision for modern and global mobility services are very much the focus. The RTA (Roads and Transport Authority) is leading that vision...Dubai’s Metro lanes are an example.”

Mobility is at the core of development, he said, and innovations in every segment of mobility — mass transportation, sea and air transport — are a driving force for economies.

As the future of mobility takes shape, affordability, efficiency and sustainability will be the priority — be it for small cities or bigger ones like Dubai or Paris, where millions of people live.

“When we look at the best affordable mobility services, what we also mean is the most efficient or seamless service that will get people from point A to point B as quick as possible.”

And as the designs become more seamless, the focus shifts to sustainability and carbon emission-free transportation.

“Both things are closely connected. More people are keen to leave their cars, which is their primary source of transportation and rely more on other forms of transportation that have the least impact on climate,” said the official.

While offering a gamut of modern mobility solutions, the French pavilion will recall the values and the modern spirit of the French Revolution.

“Much like how Dubai is connected to the world progress today, the French Revolution embodied progress in the 18th century where people were seeking progress through innovative ideas. We would like to recall and remind people about that time,” said the official.

The theme of the French pavilion — ‘Lumière, Lumières’ (Light, Enlightenment) — is an embodiment of that vision of a better world and carries the universal and humanistic values of France, he said.

“We are located at the mobility district. What can be a better expression of mobility than light, which is the fastest thing in the world. We wanted to create that link and then go beyond.”

The France Pavilion seeks to rethink progress, create emotions and connections, and unleash new ideas to reinvent our world. Its ambassadors Jessica Préalpato, named World’s Best Pastry Chef in 2019 by the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards, and Thomas Pesquet, French ESA astronaut, represent those values.


1-Take a stroll through a tree-lined forecourt with a monumental canopy

2-Discover France right from the Entrance Hall, which greets you with natural, cultural treasures of the country’s regions

3-Explore an exhibition that is renewed every month, each one dedicated to an artistic expertise: digital art, tableware, kinetic art, architecture and fashion



Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.

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