The foundation stone for the UAE pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai was laid on Sunday by H H Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group.
The pavilion, which will be built by Arabtec Construction, will be in the shape of a flying falcon.
According to a press release, the design, submitted by architect Santiago Calatrava and approved by the National Media Council (NMC), ‘reflects the values of openness, communication and tolerance, and aligns with the main theme of the exhibition, which calls for cooperation with the international community to improve quality of life through sustainable development’.
The ground breaking ceremony also included the signing of an agreement for the UAE’s participation in the Expo.
It was signed by H E Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and chairman of NMC, and H E Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and director general of the Expo 2020 Office.
H H Sheikh Ahmed said, “With its futuristic design, the UAE pavilion will undoubtedly be one of the most prominent attractions of Expo 2020. It will showcase our culture, achievements and ambitious vision for the future. The pavilion will be an architectural marvel that all seven emirates can rightly take pride in.”
H E Dr Jaber said, “I extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to H H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; H H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai; and H H Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; for their valuable involvement and unlimited support for the efforts to make Expo 2020 Dubai the best edition of the global event to date.”
“The UAE Pavilion will be the long-lasting legacy of Expo 2020 Dubai, bearing witness to the UAE’s success in organising not only the first Expo in the Middle East and Africa, but also one of the world’s best expos to date. This adds another achievement to the UAE’s ever-growing track record of successes,” he said.
H E Reem Al Hashimy said, "The UAE pavilion will be a window for communication and collaboration with the world, truly embodying our theme of 'Connecting minds, Creating the future'.”
The pavilion will cover an area of more than 15,000sq m and will be made up of four floors, with the top storey dedicated for hospitality with an area of 1,717sq m.
A 588sq m mezzanine floor will house support units, and the two remaining floors will consist of more than 12,000sq m of exhibition space. The entire structure is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.