In pictures: Your guide to the Expo 2020 Dubai country pavilions
Follow us as we travel through all the ideas and themes announced so far by the participating nations
Expo 2020 Dubai has invited 194 countries to take part in the event, offering a glimpse into the cultures, history and innovations of countries from every corner of the world.
About: Austria is a nation reimagining ideas and this is reflected in its decision to use 9,000-year-old soil to build its pavilion, which comprises 47 truncated cones. It building will be ventilated through the innovative use of the cones, and will house exhibitions, workshops and more.
Theme: Every good idea begins with the right question
About: The pavilion’s focus on the environment is reflected in its ‘mean, lean, green’ design. The nature-inspired pavilion, which has a leaf-shaped roof, will encourage visitors to consider the impact of their individual choices and invest in the future now to restore balance to the natural world.
Theme: Seeds for the future
About: Belarus is exploring the themes of innovation, investment and the individual at its pavilion, which recreates the look and feel of the nation’s primeval forests. Illuminated green ‘shoots’ will light up its entrance, and the structure will resemble a “self-sufficient living organism”.
Theme: Forest of future technology
About: The country said its pavilion “will be a real jewel of engineering” taking the form of a green ark spanning several levels. The pavilion will not just be green on the outside, but has been designed to produce more energy than it consumes, using natural light and ventilation, renewable energy and the smart use of water.
Theme: Smart and Green Belgium
About: The Pavilion will focus on recreating the Amazonian basin and intends to promote biodiversity and environmental preservation. The structure will have a walkable ‘water-blade’ and recreate the country’s riverside area. The structure is also said to provide shade during the day and mirror a luminous floating cube at night.
Theme: Together for diversity
About: Inspired by Canada’s landscapes and Arabic architectural elements, the intertwining of the wood throughout the building is meant to showcase the strong cultural connection that Canada has with the UAE. The pavilion also uses AI to reconceive the country’s diverse population.
Theme: Canada: The future
About: At 4,636 sq m, the China Pavilion is one of the largest at Expo 2020. During the design and construction of the pavilion, traditional Chinese elements, modern architecture concepts and techniques are being artistically combined to present China’s culture to the world.
Theme: Building a community with a shared future for mankind
About: Visitors to the pavilion will be impressed by its centrepiece, which creates fertile land in the barren conditions of the desert by extracting water vapour from the air. This feat uses only solar energy and Czech innovations. The pavilion will also boast a large-scale installation that shows the nation’s long history of glassmaking.
Theme: Czech Spring
About: Resembling an Arabic tent made of snow, the Finnish pavilion aims to bring together the country’s icy landscapes with the culture of Expo 2020’s host nation.
In the middle of the pavilion, a dynamic wooden space “Gorge” is carved into the building, offering visitors a cool and shady retreat.
Theme: Sharing innovative competencies
About: Titled ‘Light, Lights’, the 800 sq m permanent exhibition will showcase the assets of the French-style city in an organic scenography that combines sound, light, perfume and materials. The pavilion will be
the most sustainable ever built because it can be dismantled and reused.
Theme: Light, Lights
About: ‘Enrol’ at Campus Germany for the lesson of a lifetime. Based around a university theme, Germany’s pavilion at Expo 2020 presents an array of creative environmental ideas. Visitors can wear cutting-edge devices as they venture through themed areas that include The Energy Lab, The Future City Lab and The Biodiversity Lab.
Theme: Campus Germany
About: The exterior of the pavilion will consist of three ships overturned and raised sideways on tall pillars, which will make up the roof of the pavilion. Each hull of the ship will be painted in a different way, so that they seem like three petals in the colours of the Italian flag, when seen from above.
Theme: Beauty connects people
About: The pavilion’s lattice exterior combines traditional Japanese and Arabesque patterns, paying homage to the ancient Silk Road trade route that connected the Middle East to Japan. The pavilion will also use an environmentally-friendly cooling mechanism inspired by traditional Arabic and Japanese technologies.
Theme: Join. Sync. Act.
About: South Korea’s pavilion will host events to capitalise on the popularity of its music. “Rotating cubes” will be used to create changing images on the exterior of the pavilion. The venue, spanning 5,200 sq m, features a design that draws on the concept of “a group dancing with excitement”.
Theme: Smart Korea: Moving the world to you
About: The design of the $35.9m pavilion features a ramp to all floors, with an overall spiral shape, within which there will be multiple areas for exhibiting and a restaurant. A curved, see-through slide will also be part of the pavilion. Minister Etienne Schneider said that 70 percent of materials can be used after the event.
Theme: Resourceful Luxembourg
About: The rainforest canopy design draws inspiration from Malaysia’s traditional stilt houses, rainforest and fireflies, and has a total build-up area of 1,700 sq m. The Malaysian pavilion is expected to be one of the first net zero carbon buildings at the Expo 2020 when the event officially opens next October next year.
Theme: Energising sustainability
About: Inspired by the ‘Rock of Monaco’, this gem-like, polygonal pavilion will take visitors on a multi-sensory journey through exhibition spaces, replicating the sights of the French Riviera. Visitors will enter the ‘Kaleidoscope’, which will showcase the country’s culture and innovation.
Theme: Monaco 360° – a world
About: The pavilion will allow visitors to explore Montenegro’s rich cultural history and its sustainability-driven future, while celebrating it as an open and safe investment destination. It will highlight Montenegro’s biodiversity, its innovative efforts to strike a balance between man and nature.
Theme: Montenegro – Blessed
About: The pavilion will feature a biotope, which connects water, energy and food in a circular way. The production of water from desert air is one of the inventions that will be on display next year in the pavilion. Artist Ap Verheggen is behind the SunGlacier technology that makes the feat possible.
Theme: Uniting water, energy and food
About: Celebrity choreographer Parris Goebel has been appointed head curator of the entertainment and cultural programme for the pavilion and will manage a series of events to be showcased through-out the six-month event. The pavilion’s theme reflects the country’s deep kinship between people and the environment.
Theme: Care for people and place
About: Explore the sea and learn about the importance of conservation in 680 sq m of interactive exhibition space. The pavilion will allow visitors to explore the deep and learn about the importance of ocean conservation. The pavilion will highlight some of the most pressing issues facing our oceans.
Theme: Norway as a world-leading ocean nation
About: The Oman Pavilion is inspired by the shape of a frankincense tree, which has been recognised as a bridge between the civilisations of the ancient world more than 5,000 years ago. Inside there are five zones detailing the diverse ways in which frankincense has benefited Oman.
Theme: Oman – Opportunities over time
About: Details, such as the façade of the pavilion, highlight the link between Peruvians and weaving throughout time, an activity that has gained a presence in almost all areas of its culture. Immense walls – resembling the walls of Kuélap – give way to a world of sensations and experiences where Peru and its riches occupy centre stage.
Theme: Timeless, always Peru
About: The undulating walls recall the shape of bangkóta, or coral reefs. They are permeable, made of netting, to represent the idea of connectivity. The pavilion has eight areas, including a tropical forest, an area explaining Philippine history with nature, one exploring culture, and the making of Bangkóta.
Theme: Bangkóta: Philippine Coral Reef
About: The pavilion’s structure, and thousands of ‘migrating’ paper birds hovering throughout the wooden pavilion (which references the large-scale migration of birds from Poland to the Arab world), explores the nation’s diverse connections, as well as its role
as a leading producer of goods.
Theme: Creativity Inspired by Nature
About: A spiralling explosion of colour, this is dubbed the pavilion for “blowing your mind”. Showcasing Russia’s extensive knowledge in various scientific and cultural fields, the pavilion will take visitors to the next level, where they will be able to experience the possibilities of tomorrow… and enjoy a wide range of modern Russian cuisines.
About: The 13,000 sq m pavilion, resembling a huge window opening up from the ground and soaring into the sky, will offer visitors an immersive journey showcasing KSA’s transformation. Balancing rich heritage and natural wonders with the creativity of its people, the pavilion will demonstrate how the kingdom is shaping its future.
Theme: The sky is the limit
About: This net-zero energy pavilion is designed by WOHA and includes an immersive 3D greenery experience called ‘City in a Garden’, and a net-zero energy rainforest powered by a self-sustaining ecosystem. Singapore Pavilion will also have a canopy walk, a series of sculptural ‘Garden Cones’ featuring exhibits, and a ‘Sky Market’.
Theme: Nature. Nurture. Future
About: The Spanish pavilion will be made up of multi-purpose spaces that visitors can use. They will function like urban squares with catering services and shops, where people can spend time and enjoy the amenities. The area is designed to be a basement space which will make use of the acoustic insulation that being underground provides.
Theme: People and places
About: The pavilion will feature tree houses as part of a design to recreate the Nordic forests of Scandinavia in the desert. Hundreds of tree trunks will rise from the floor, giving visitors the impression they are walking through a forest. These trunks will support raised offices, making them look like three houses.
Theme: Co-creation for innovation
About: A pavilion you can ‘hike’ through, the design features a large pointed mirror downwards. Inside there is a theatre allowing visitors to feel like they are in the foggy Swiss mountains. The country was controversially forced to pull the plug on a potential $1.8m sponsorship deal with Philip Morris International (PMI).
Theme: Belles Vues
About: The first layer, the pavilion’s delicate woven flower façade, will not only help protect it from the scorching sun, but will also glow with different colours. The second layer is covered with heat insulation designed to reduce the temperature of the pavilion. It has been designed in an arc shape that will shade the Gathering Plaza area.
Theme: Mobility for the future
About: A fountain sculpture featuring five Akhal-Teke horses and a 50m LED façade will greet visitors. Symbolising national pride, the Akhal-Teke horses will greet visitors to the pavilion, while images of five white horses will be projected onto the walls to reflect the movement of the visitors through an interactive hologram.
Theme: Power of five
About: Designed in the shape of a falcon in flight, the UAE Pavilion will be a major attraction at Expo 2020. The pavilion, which will be four storeys high and total 15,000 sq m, will tell the history of the nation as a connected global hub, and the vision of its leaders to create a peaceful and progressive society with ambitious plans for the future.
District: The UAE Pavilion is located at the centre of the site
About: The UK pavilion is inspired by a project from the late scientist Stephen Hawking, in which he pondered how humanity could express itself to an extraterrestrial civilisation. The exhibit will offer a glimpse into the future, exploring everything from the commercialisation of space to exoskeletons.
Theme: Innovating for a shared future
About: With inventions ranging from an e-bike that can travel 380km on a single charge, to blinds that use sunlight to generate electricity, the structure will showcase the innovative spirit of Ukraine, while exploring its cultural heritage. The pavilion will also use picturesque flora to create a restful ambiance for visitors.
Theme: Connecting dots