UAE picks falcon design for Dubai World Expo 2020 pavilion

Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava wins prestigious competition to design paviilion at centre of mega event
UAE picks falcon design for Dubai World Expo 2020 pavilion
By Staff writer
Sat 30 Apr 2016 12:53 PM

The National Media Council on Saturday said it has selected architect Santiago Calatrava’s design for the UAE Pavilion for Dubai World Expo 2020.

Located facing the Al Wasl Plaza, which lies at the centre of the 200-hectare exhibition zone, the UAE Pavilion – whose design will be inspired by a falcon in flight – will represent the UAE to the 25 million visitors and participants from over 180 nations who are expected to visit the Expo from October 2020 to April 2021. 

Spaniard Santiago Calatrava’s proposal was formally selected following a seven-month design competition managed by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company. The contest saw 9 of the world’s most renowned architectural firms submit 11 concepts, a statement said.

Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and National Media Council chairman, said: “The proposed design of the UAE Pavilion captures the story we want to tell the world about our nation.

"Our late founding father His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan used falconry expeditions to forge connections between tribes and to create a distinct national identity which ultimately led to the founding of the United Arab Emirates.

"Now, the falcon design will symbolise how we are connecting the UAE to the minds of the world and how as a global community we can soar to new heights through partnership and cooperation.”

Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and director general of Expo 2020 Dubai, added: “The pavilion will be one of the Expo's greatest icons. The design will evoke the pioneering spirit and power of connections that transformed the UAE from a collection of small, desert communities, into a global connection point. The UAE pavilion will become an important cornerstone in our site and will have a legacy plan that will reflect our hopes and ambitions for the many years to come.”

Speaking of his appointment, Calatrava said he is "deeply honoured" to have been chosen. "I am confident that the final design will be a symbol of the bold and daring spirit of the UAE, reflected in what is poised to be the most inclusive and global Expo in history," he added.

The pavilion is expected to cover up to 15,000 square meters and will include numerous exhibition areas, an auditorium, food and beverage outlets and VIP lounges.

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