Work on the UAE pavilion for Expo 2020 began with a ground-breaking ceremony, marking a significant milestone in the UAE’s history to host one of the most-recognised exhibitions.
The pavilion, designed in the shape of a flying falcon, covers more than 15,000 m2 and comprises four floors.
The top storey, with 1,717 m2, is dedicated for hospitality.
A 588 m2 mezzanine floor will accommodate support units and the two remaining floors will consist of 12,000 m2 of exhibition space.
The entire construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum laid the foundation stone for the UAE pavilion.
Minister of State and Chairman of the National Media Council (NMC) Dr Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber and Minister of State for International Cooperation and director-general of Expo 2020 Office Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy signed the official agreement for the UAE’s participation in the Expo.
Arabtec Holding’s subsidiary Arabtec Construction won the pavilion contract against national and international competition.
A seven-month design competition was held in which nine international architecture firms submitted 11 concepts. The NMC approved the design submitted by architect Santiago Calatrava.
Entries were evaluated on several criteria, including the extent to which they embodied the main theme of the Expo (Connecting Minds, Creating the Future), as well as representation of the UAE heritage.
Al Maktoum said: “The UAE pavilion will undoubtedly be one of the most prominent attractions of Expo 2020, drawing in many millions to witness its futuristic design.
“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.”
Al Jaber said: “The UAE pavilion is a prominent landmark at the Expo 2020 Dubai; it represents the host country and will be the main attraction for millions of visitors from all around the world.”