High-ranking members of Dubai’s Expo 2020 committee attended the ground breaking ceremony for the UAE pavilion on Sunday, in a sign the event was moving ever closer.
The ceremony attended by chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, minister of state Dr Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber and minister of state for international cooperation and director general of the Expo 2020 Office Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy also saw the signing of the official agreement for the UAE’s participation in the expo.
The entity Al Jaber chairs, the National Media Council (NMC), has been tasked with overseeing the construction and management of the UAE pavilion at international expos.
“The UAE pavilion will undoubtedly be one of the most prominent attractions of Expo 2020, drawing in many millions to witness its futuristic design. It will be a wonderful opportunity to share our Emirati culture and achievements while showcasing our ambitious vision for the future,” said Sheikh Ahmed.
“The pavilion will be an architectural marvel that all seven Emirates can rightly take pride in, both now at the ground-breaking stage, during Expo, and in legacy when it will become a lasting icon of our nation.”
The pavilion is designed to showcase the history and achievements of the UAE and tells the stories of its leaders.
It will also introduce visitors to the country’s aspirations for the future all the way until its centennial in 2071.
The pavilion concept itself has been designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to embody the values of openness, communication and tolerance and is shaped like a flying falcon.
Calatrava won a seven-month design competition, which ranked entries based partly on how they embodied the Expo 2020 theme of ‘connecting minds, creating the future’.
It stretches 15,000 square metres and is made up of four floors, including a top storey hospitality area spanning 1,717 square metres, a mezzanine floor housing support units across 588 square metres and two floors of exhibition space spanning 12,000 square metres.
Construction is being undertaken by local company Arabtec, which was awarded the Dhs353m ($96.1m) contract in July, and is due for completion by the end of 2019.