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Expo 2020 Dubai

Admire architectural marvels at Expo 2020 Dubai

Thu, October 14, 2021

From eye-catching pavilion architecture to cutting-edge creations, discover some of Expo 2020 Dubai's best designs.

From eye-catching pavilion architecture to cutting-edge creations, discover some of Expo 2020 Dubai's best designs.



As the Expo 2020 Dubai's Sustainability Pavilion, Terra was designed by the UK-based Grimshaw Architects to meet the highest available accreditation for sustainable buildings – LEED Platinum certification. It aims to showcase solutions to the energy problems that the world currently faces. Thanks to the 4,912 solar panels on the pavilion's canopy, it can generate enough electricity to charge almost a million mobile phones, and 100 per cent of its water supply is from sources on site.


Al Wasl Plaza

At the heart of the Expo 2020 Dubai site, you'll find Al Wasl Plaza, which is the world's largest 360-degree projection dome. The dome's intricate trellis-like structure was made from 13.6km of steel, and is 67.5m tall. Inside, 252 high-tech laser projectors display colourful images, which can be seen from inside and outside. It took 14 months of careful planning, and the work of 800 engineers and technicians, to create this showstopper. 


Expo's entry portals

Impossible to miss, the site's three entry portals can be found at the entrance of each Thematic District – Sustainability, Mobility, and Opportunity. They were designed by Asif Khan, and have 21m tall doors that are symbolically thrown open every morning. The structures were inspired by Arabic mashrabiya architecture, and are made out of strands of a state-of-the-art carbon fibre and resin, which is strong enough to support the weight of a 4WD vehicle. 


'Surreal' water installation

Visitors will find this water feature between Jubilee Park and Al Wasl Plaza, and has to be seen to be believed. Watch water cascading down 13m high walls, before disappearing into the ground. As night falls, the water even flows up hill, defying gravity, accompanied by orchestral scores and colourful bursts of fire. It was created by the California-based WET design, who are also behind The Dubai Fountain in Downtown Dubai.


Garden in the Sky

Take a trip to the top of Garden in the Sky, and enjoy unbeatable 360-degree views of the entire Expo 2020 Dubai site. The 55m-tall observation tower was designed by the acclaimed architect Asif Khan, and is the only attraction of its kind in the world. There are two floors, which move up and down, and rotate at the same time. While enjoying a bird's-eye view, you'll also be surrounded by nature, as there are 10 yellow flame trees on the upper deck of this flying park.


Oman Pavilion

Inspired by the boswellia sacra (the Luban tree), Oman's arresting pavilion is also a tribute to frankincense. The architecture's asymmetrical design brings to mind the low-hanging branches of the tree, and inside, visitors will be taken on a tour of Oman's culture and heritage, and how frankincense contributed to both. Made up of three storeys, the structure was designed by F&M Middle East, and can be found in the Mobility District.


UAE Pavilion

The shape of the host country's pavilion takes its inspiration from the UAE's national bird, the falcon. Designed by the Swiss-Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, it can be found close to the centre of the site. It's four storeys high, with carbon fibre 'wings' that can be raised and lowered to let light into the structure. Inside, there's a sphere-shaped auditorium big enough for 200 people, as well as exhibitions showcasing the greatest Emirati achievements.


Public art

Dotted throughout the Expo 2020 Dubai site, visitors will find an assortment of public artworks to marvel over. Curated by Cairo-born creative Tarek Abou El Fetouh, the 11 pieces – including dramatic sculptures and mosaics – were commissioned by talented artists such as Hamra Abbas, Afra Al Dhaheri, and Shaikha Al Mazrou. All of them were inspired by the work of the famous Arab mathematician, astronomer and physicist Ibn Al Haytham.


Take a tour

If you're looking to learn more about the stunning architecture at the world fair, from country pavilions to intricate sculptures, then you can embark on a guided tour of the site and go behind the scenes with other aficionados. Learn more about what went into creating some of Expo's architectural marvels, from sustainable designs to the cutting-edge technology used, straight from the experts.

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