Planned by Hopkins Architects Studio, the masterplan of Expo 2020 Dubai covers a 438-hectare spot in south-west Dubai, close to Al Maktoum International Airport and Jebel Ali Port, presenting three diverse themes in three dissimilar districts, namely, Sustainability, Opportunity, and Mobility—with the goal of Connecting Minds and Creating the Future. Each of the three petals is given an exclusive and impressive character, represented through distinctive geometry, modelling, and colours to reveal the three main Expo 2020 Dubai themes. Here are the ten best pavilions according to this writer.
Terra, the Sustainability Pavilion.Saudi Pavilion at Dubai Expo.Santiago Calatrava reveals design of the UAE pavilion for Expo 2020.Inside Saudi Arabia’s window to the world.India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.Globe’s hottest tables come together at EXPO 2020 Dubai.Garden in the Sky, aerial view.A.R. Rahman collaborates on Expo 2020’s new state of the art music studio.Aerial view of Al Was
The UAE exhibition takes you through the journey from its preceding to the upcoming. The theme is characterised in its roof assembly resembling a symbolic analysis of the flow of movement, which is made of a fusion method of a shell and a portal frame, designed as falcon wings that can be unbolted and shut within 3 minutes! Blending in beautifully with its context of greenery, shaded arcades, and cantilevered wings and, at the same time, speaks of the development and innovation of the UAE. Its operation needs 46 hydraulic actuators to stimulate the spin of the wings to open to their complete capacity. My favourite part was a striking animation representing UAE culture. A short film shown in the cinema room.
SAUDI ARABIA PAVILION
The prism-like pavilion takes up a capacity of the mass of two football fields and is the second largest after the UAE pavilion. The country is at its early stages of tourism and I did not imagine the kind of gems veiled in this enigmatic Middle Eastern country. The exterior of the pavilion structures the biggest in the world interactional mirror screen with about 8,000 LED floor lights that brighten into diverse colourful patterns. Those are imitated in the mirror. This remarkable sight can be viewed at night after dusk. A visit here is a great chance to be acquainted with the country’s rich past, breath-taking natural wonders and promising future. Undeniably, from the outside, the building looks like it is pursuing the skies, and it does indicate Saudi Arabia’s limitless ambitions. Inside, my favourite part was a gigantic curved LED screen capturing the diverse regions of the country.
I may sound a little bit biased as India is my home country but I am delighted to say the pavilion is effectively designed with an enlightening exhibition showcasing both culture and innovation of my beautiful nation. Four floors of the massive pavilion of India offers one the chance to get acquainted with the country’s rich culture, legacy, expertise and space-related accomplishments. The explanation is quite interactive and enjoyable, with my favourite part being an enormous LED room displaying Indian ethnicity and heritage via highlight videos. I spent an hour admiring vibrant and dynamic scenes captured in different regions of India. The grandeur of the screens and kaleidoscopic projections are simply enthralling.
With its origami-inspired architecture that looks modest and minimalistic in comparison to several other lavish and vibrant pavilions, the Japan exposition will simply blow your mind. It is the experience of the tour that I vouch for. Everything from the graciousness of the staff to exhibition of the culture and innovation, to arousing the emotions, all this left a vast impression. Attention to detail in every single step during the one-hour tour is outstanding, extremely interactive, and designed to evoke emotion and thought. You will be able to get a glimpse of Japanese culture, their innovative thinking, and have an amazing sensory experience.
The brightly coloured Jamaican pavilion welcomes with cool tunes like Bob Marley’s “No woman no cry” and other beautiful reggae songs. As music sets the mood, you soon find yourself absorbed in Caribbean vibes. It is no wonder that the overall pavilion theme is “The riddim that moves and connects the world”. And it certainly does. Bold yellow, green and red colours are painted over the blocks of shipping containers, cleverly used to create interior space with a trendy street vibe. At the exhibition, you get to know some of the most celebrated musicians, sportsmen, and historical heroes of Jamaica and listen to Caribbean music in the studio room. Do not miss trying some original Jamaican coffee (ask for condensed milk, that is how Jamaicans typically do it). Although not big in size, it is positively one of the most distinguishing pavilions with a strong illustration of the country’s ethnicity.
ALIF MOBILITY PAVILION
One of the main 3 thematic pavilions at the Expo 2020. It is like an addition to the UAE pavilion, which also familiarises significant mobility-related sightings in the Arab world as well as upcoming inventions. The textured and warped shape architecture conjures a sense of mobility. It starts with a lady statute that looks real sitting in the middle of a spherical room, which is really a giant elevator, taking visitors to the upper floor. The time machine journey begins with getting to know more about the greatest explorers in human history. Colossal in size (read 9-meter statues), they signify amazing minds of the time. Their findings played an imperative role in moving onward to today’s technology. Later on, you go fast forward over the potential of smart cities, modernisms and prospects, concluding your voyage to space with a cool selfie in astronaut gear.
When it comes to presentation, Switzerland is up there. The insightful façade of the pavilion with a gigantic white cross on the red backdrop can be seen from afar. At the entry, guests are given red umbrellas with country-related white logos and letters. And while sightseers are passing through the gigantic oblong red carpet, their echo in the gigantic mirror above looks like an ocean of umbrellas. The key emphasis of the exhibition is to capture the magnificence of Switzerland’s backdrops, originality and openness. In one of the rooms, one walks through the fog that gives a feeling of walking through the dewy Swiss Alps.
Play and study (or vice versa) at Campus Germany. Built in the Sustainability District, it is an education plus entertainment based extensive exhibition focusing on German novelties and answers in the sustainability area. One of the most interactive ones, absorbing about the newest innovations, play informative games, dip in a pit of yellow balls pool, and lastly, graduate from a tiny university on swings. To get to the pavilion you will have to queue up quite a bit. But the wait is worth it because even in the queue you are busy with many informational boards and videos about the diverse regions of Germany.
This vivid dome-shaped pavilion looks like a revolving rainbow-coloured Saturn. Rendering to the architect himself, the two hemispheres that form the structure exemplify planet Russia. Additionally, one dome sits inside the other, which is a depiction of the traditional Russian Babushka doll. Interestingly the structure is made out of colourful aluminium tubes, which are twisted to form the body. The entire length of the threads expanded is 46 km. And the six-colour paint is enhanced to avert aluminium from burning in the sun. The exhibition is extremely educational. If you missed biology class at school, the display is an interactive amplification of all you need to know about how the brain works.
This cross-laminated timber pavilion epitomises the UK. The creator intended to craft a building that expresses the individuality of Britain as a distinct enriching nation and shows what comes out of the alliance of all these beliefs united with expertise. To attain this purpose, the designer used progressive machine knowledge algorithms to alter the guests’ response into combined poems. These poems are exhibited on the illumining fascia, turning the pavilion’s external edifice into an exhibition.
BEST WAY TO REACH
Metro: It will bring you right to the main gate and you won’t need to take the Expo bus or walk extra miles.
Car: Park at opportunity parking. Shortest walk to the expo site, under ten minutes. Expo buses are free, but this will save you the wait and the crowd.
TIPS FOR THE EXPO
Water: Carry a reusable bottle for water. Refill stations are accessible all across.
EAT AT THE EXPO
Expo 2020 Dubai is all prepared with a complete host of chefs, ideas and restaurants anticipating discovery as global chefs soar in to shake up the city’s dining scene and redefine Dubai’s gastronomic story. Counting Scarpetta’s first-ever burrata bar, Coffee & Doughnuts from London based bakery Bread Ahead, David Thompson’s Long Chim, David Myers’ ADRIFT Burger Bar and Kutir by Rohit Ghai.Eat at the Expo and take your chair to some of the globe’s hottest tables.