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Turkmenistan’s pavilion


Photovoltaics in the park


UAE’s pavilion designed by architect Santiago Calatrava

Better late than never? Better than you’d expected? You’d better see it for yourself, before it closes. The World Expo 2020 opened in Dubai in October 2021 (it’s been a complicated year). Under the banner “Connecting Minds and Creating the Future”, 192 countries have set up pavilions across three themes — Sustainability, Opportunity and Mobility – in a purpose-built site south of Jebel Ali in western Dubai. An ongoing series of events designed to inspire action in addressing the world’s most pressing problems will last until the end of March 2022. For the first time in the history of the Expo, each country was invited to present itself, its culture and its people in its own pavilions. The result is an astonishing collection of unique architectural stops around the Expo 2020 site that offer visitors an immersive journey around the world. 

In the Sustainability district, global projects include solar-powered concrete and small vertical farms. Mobility looks at vehicles of the future; meet social innovators in Opportunity.


Inside Terra, the sustainability pavilion


Spanish pavilion


Oman’s pavilion, inspired by the frankincense tree


Outside Terra


Finland’s striking pavilion

Expo 2020 also marks the global exhibition’s debut outing in the Middle East and the first hosted by an Arab nation. Once demounted in spring 2022, the space will also provide the growing city with much-needed offices and accommodation. That’s not before tens of millions of people are expected to visit and confirm an idea floated in the uae’s own pavilion: that this jubilant showcase isn’t really a novelty as much as a new chapter for Dubai. After all, the Emirates have long been a crossroads for creativity, people and ideas and didn’t need a party to prove it. This said, it’s a nice touch.

monocle hopped in a golf cart with Nadia Verjee, chief of staff to the director general and minister of state for international co-operation, Reem Al Hashimy, who runs the operation, and picked our favourites. — Expo runs until 31 Mar 2022.

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