September 10, 2021
Must Visit: Expo 2020 Dubai
Every five years, world expos bring together people from across the planet to celebrate cutting-edge technology, innovative architecture and international culture. This year, the emirate of Dubai welcomes the world to Expo 2020 Dubai with a theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”
Spread throughout the 1,083-acre (438-hectare) expo grounds are the pavilions of 191 countries plus organizations such as ASEAN, the African Union and the League of Arab States.
The centerpiece is Al Wasl Plaza and a massive dome designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. Made of metallic scrim, the dome filters the sun in the daytime and acts as a 360-degree screen for immersive projections at night.
Nearby, the UAE Pavilion (designed by Santiago Calatrava) has stylized feather-like projections meant to evoke a falcon.
Surrounding Al Wasl Plaza are three districts dedicated to the subthemes of Expo 2020 Dubai: “Sustainability,” “Mobility” and “Opportunity.” Each district has a landmark building as its focal point, as well as national pavilions that further explore the emerging trends of its subtheme.
Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion, designed by Grimshaw Architects, resembles a giant funnel covered with more than 4,000 photovoltaic solar panels. The 18 “energy trees” around the building follow the sun. There’s also a system that condenses water from the air.
Within the Sustainability District, the Brazil Pavilion recreates a waterfall, the Singapore Pavilion offers a hanging garden, and the Netherlands Pavilion has a vertical farm that demonstrates the efficient use of water and energy to produce food.
Anchoring the Mobility District is Alif – The Mobility Pavilion, a three-lobed building by Foster + Partners. Inside, visitors can learn about spaceships, autonomous vehicles, solar-powered tricycles, hoverboards, jet packs and other novel modes of transportation.
Elsewhere in the Mobility District, the Australia, Russia, Republic of Korea and other pavilions present additional exhibits on the future of movement.
Mission Possible – the Opportunity Pavilion designed by AGi Architects is a stack of rectangular boxes that towers over the Opportunity District. Exploring how interpersonal relations can change the world, the pavilion has displays on what it takes to make a positive impact and the futuristic technologies that can enable better communications.
National pavilions in the Mobility District include the Malawi Pavilion, which has an exhibition about tools that help rural children; the UK Pavilion, where visitors can interact with an artificial intelligence sculpture; and the Switzerland Pavilion, where visitors can take a virtual hike in a sea of fog.
Among the pavilions are myriad gardens and art installations, as well as more than 200 restaurants. Music and dance groups from all over the world perform throughout the day.
Visitors wanting an even more in-depth experience can delve into one of the 10 Theme Weeks throughout the duration of Expo 2020 Dubai that address topics such as climate and biodiversity, urban and rural development, tolerance and inclusivity, and travel and connectivity.
After the expo ends, the grounds and most of the buildings will be repurposed to create a new city called District 2020.
Expo 2020 Dubai runs from Oct 1, 2021 through Mar 31, 2022 (it was delayed by the pandemic).
Artisans of Leisure can easily incorporate a visit to Expo 2020 Dubai into any of our private Dubai tours. Contact us to learn more.