It’s been a just over a week now since we bid farewell to Expo 2020. Sob.
The six-month fair became Dubai’s hub for entertainment, education and eats, with thousands across the city now mourning its closure.
Of course, there’s still plenty of stupendously brilliant things to do in Dubai, and you’re in the right place for all that info here, but the other good news is that some of the very best bits of Expo will be back.
Ten of the best Expo pavilions are here to stay, and we’ve got them all listed for you right here.
The site is currently closed, unless you book yourself into the Rove Expo, and the Expo team is now busily scurrying around transforming the site, with the relaunch – as District 2020 – expected to come six months from now.
The Expo site will reopen six months from now (so sometime around October), which is also when District 2020 will be introduced to the public and we can find out more on how to access these legacy pavilions.
As we hear more on what’s to come at District 2020, here’s our essential round-up of the ten legacy pavilions that we know, for sure, are here to stay.
10 Expo pavilions that are here to stay
Al Wasl Plaza
The Al Wasl Plaza is a visual marvel, fondly referred to as the heart of Expo 2020. It connects the three main districts of Opportunity, Sustainability and Mobility with the other concourses, including the entrance for the Dubai Metro link and the UAE Pavilion through seven entrances and exits in a circular arrangement.
Did you know? The 65-meter-high trellis is inspired by the shape of the Expo 2020 logo and acts as a translucent immersive 360-degree projection surface, which is what makes it such a mesmerising sight at night when lit up in hues of pink.
The UAE pavilion is a hidden gem with still a lot more to show. Located close to the Al Wasl Plaza, it has 8,000 square meters of exhibition space. A true amalgamation of tradition and innovation, the pavilion is inspired by the falcon. This energy efficient building has 28 movable wings in the roof, which can spread to harvest energy through integrated photovoltaic panels (which convert solar radiation into electricity, in case you didn’t know).
Did you know? The UAE pavilion is designed by Spanish architect and engineer Dr. Santiago Calatrava, whose design was selected out of nine of the world’s most celebrated architectural firms that submitted 11 concepts in a seven-month long design competition.
You could wander through forests, dive into ocean depths, and then get a reality check on climate change at Terra, the sustainability pavilion. This is the pavilion that will inspire you to fight climate change and make more sustainable decisions in your everyday lives. It explores humankind’s relationship with nature, our obsession with excessive consumerism, and teach us how to reduce our carbon footprint and understand its impact on the environment.
Did you know? The Terra Pavilion will evolve to become a children’s museum and science centre in District 2020.
The mobility pavilion, or Alif, showcased larger-than-life, nine-metre-tall historical giants of mobility whose innovations helped navigate the world and paved the way for the technology we use today. From land to sea and sky to newer frontiers in space, the pavilion redefined mobility and movement through a technological and historical lens.
Did you know? The Mobility pavilion featured the world’s largest passenger lift, which can transport over 160 people at a time. Now that sounds like an elevator you won’t have to wait in line for.
The Opportunity pavilion, or Mission Impossible, stood for the exact opposite of its nickname by establishing that almost nothing is impossible if individuals and communities try their best to unlock their full potential. The pavilion visualised the need to pledge to make a better future, and invited visitors to be inspired by three individuals – Mariam, Abel, and Mama Fatma.
Did you know? The pavilion builds on the rich urban history of the “plaza” and its universal significance as a place for people to connect across age, language and culture – to celebrate our shared human experiences – because that’s what doing the impossible is all about.
The Vision Pavilion celebrates the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It is built on the tenets of discovery, inspiration, and appreciation. Stunning displays and immersive movie projections took visitors on a journey through Dubai’s transformation from desert to a modern metropolis.
Did you know? The Vision pavilion was designed by Icaria Atelier, a creative collective of architects, artists, engineers and filmmakers that mix design, storytelling and technology.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabian pavilion was the second largest pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai with a total area of 13,059sq m. The highlight was the multi-faceted 30m diameter globe with an interactive floor, created by a collective of Saudi artists, taking visitors on an audio-visual journey through the Kingdom’s creative scene. The pavilion gave an ode to the country’s past, present and shared future.
Did you know? The Saudi Pavilion appeared different by day and by night thanks to its changing lights and light projections. We wonder if that feature will remain.
Morocco is at the heart of African innovation, which is why its pavilion reflected just that and more. The Morocco pavilion offered an immersive experience through a continuous ramp that reflect the streets of Moroccan medinas. Its ‘Wast Eddar’ patio had one of the best views of Expo 2020 from atop a vertical earthen village.
Did you know? The pavilion was designed by Tarik Oualalou and displays a first-of-its-kind structure with a 4000m² rammed earth façade.
India’s massive four-floor pavilion did not disappoint with an amusing amalgamation of ayurveda, yoga, India’s growing space programme, and an impressive display of its US$2.5 trillion economy, growing fast with one of the youngest and largest populations in the world. Its hour-long tour meant there was always a queue, with visitors eager to find out more.
Did you know? The pavilion showcased film shows, conferences, cuisines and daily cultural performances – which we sincerely hope will make a comeback for District 2020.
Stunning architecture formed the backdrop of an immersive experience of Luxembourg’s diversity, connectivity, enterprising spirit, far-reaching commitment to sustainability and vast natural environment. The gift shop selling Luxembourg-designed products and gifts made for the perfect stop for souvenir-enthusiasts to spend time (and money!).
Did you know? The Luxembourg pavilion was the only pavilion to have a slide. Visitors of all ages loved the novel way to exit.
Stay tuned for more information on how to access these legacy pavilions, timings, tickets, and additional attractions that are set to launch at District 2020.