A look at some of the coolest country pavilions at the Dubai Expo 2020

A look at some of the coolest country pavilions at the Dubai Expo 2020

Travel around the world and visit some of the coolest country pavilions that the Dubai Expo has to offer.

The Dubai Expo 2020 is now officially open. Running for six months, from 1 October to the end of March 2022, the world’s fair is expected to attract 25 million visitors. The largest tourist event since the pandemic began, read all about the top things to do at the Dubai Expo here.

For the first time in World Expo history, every participating country has its own pavilion to showcase the best of their achievements and offers visitors a taste of their country’s culture and traditions. And the masterminds behind these architectural gems have made sure these pavilions will go down in Expo history.

From Italy’s very own 3-D printed replica of Michelangelo’s David statue to Brazil’s mesmerising water feature and the vertical farm of the Dutch Pavilion, discover some of the coolest country pavilions at the Dubai Expo 2020:


The Italian Pavilion is positioned between the Opportunity and Sustainability Districts and is dedicated to the theme of beauty. With the motto ‘beauty connects people’, the Italian Pavilion refers to the concept of harmony, proportion and balance of the classical age, combining tradition and innovation.

The structure of the Pavilion covers an area of 3,500 square metres and consists of three large boat hulls made of high-tech nautical material and ropes made of recycled material. The exhibition is a tribute to art and science and is divided into different areas: Belvedere, Short Stories, the Innovation Observatory, the Theatre of Memory and the Immersive Ramp. Here, reproductions of famous works are mixed with the story of technological progress and the excellence of Made in Italy. The digital reproduction of David, the twin of Michelangelo’s masterpiece produced in 3D printing is said to be the star of the Italian Pavilion.


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The UK

Inspired by one of the late Stephen Hawking’s projects, ‘Breakthrough Message’, the UK Pavilion showcases the prominence of the UK’s artificial intelligence and space sector. Located in the Opportunity District, the UK Pavilion is being nicknamed the ‘Poem Pavilion’.

Created by British designer, Es Devlin, the sculpture features an impressive focal point of cross laminated timber which showcases a collective poem. The poem is generated by visitors, as they each donate a word on entry. AI technology uses these words to create couplets based on 15,000 poems written by more than 100 British poets. Once inside, visitors are surrounded by words in English and Arabic, accentuated by a choir soundscape. A new poem is generated every minute and uses an advanced machine learning algorithm to generate the cumulative result; a unified message from humanity to another civilisation.

The UK Pavilion is also home to a restaurant, 1851, which showcases the best of British food and drink, named in recognition of London’s first Expo event.


Designed by architect José Paulo Gouvêa, the Brazilian Pavilion is located in the Sustainability District and its theme is ‘together for sustainable development’. The 4,000 square metre Pavilion has a steel and white canvas structure with water being its main element.

Among the many attractions, the water mirror that was created inside the Pavilion to represent the Brazilian rivers is by far the most popular. The perfect place to escape the Dubai heat, people can come here to cool off, wetting their legs up to the lower part of their shins. Together with sounds, music, aromas and projections, the place provides a phenomenal sensory experience.

During the day the Pavilion is perfect for children and adults alike to have fun and relax. At night, it becomes a projection screen with 125 high-definition projectors that turn the Pavilion into a journey through Brazil.


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The French Pavilion is located in the Mobility District and is dedicated to progress. With its architectural theme ‘Lights, Lights’, the French Pavilion refers on the one hand to light, which is the physical phenomenon, and on the other hand to the lights which represent the French intelligence of the 18th century.

With a surface area of 5,000m2, it is the fifth largest pavilion of the exhibition. Ecology being at the heart of its concerns, the French Pavilion is composed of 2500m² of photovoltaic solar tiles. In the same idea of ecological awareness, an energy clock will display live details of the building’s consumption.

The exhibition begins at the entrance of the Pavilion with thematic photographs that will be renewed twice a month, but it is in the centre of the Pavilion that visitors can discover the permanent exhibitions. These include the National Archives, an original edition of Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopaedia, and three separate immersive experiences, also known as ‘planets’, that will offer a view of the Earth’s future.


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The Netherlands

The Dutch Pavilion, located in the Sustainability District, focuses on water, energy and food. Enter a miniature world with its own climate system featuring solar powered rain showers. The Pavilion is full of sustainable solutions and focuses on food harvesting through innovations such as a cone-shaped, vertical farm. The technology of this farm extracts water from the desert air to irrigate the 18-metre high ‘food cone’. No fewer than 9,000 edible plants and herbs are grown on this food mountain and kilos of edible mushrooms grow inside. Inside the food cone it is quiet, cool and dark, making the sensory experience even more impressive.

Designed by V8 Architects, it is a true feat of engineering that exemplifies the future of sustainability and food technologies.


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Under the slogan ‘Intelligence for life’, the Spanish Pavilion aims to showcase the country’s rich creative and productive fabric, its capacity for innovation and its commitment to a sustainable future. Located in the Sustainability District, the Pavilion occupies a surface area of 5,800 m2, in which huge, colourful cones partially clad the space with ultra-light photovoltaic panels.

One of the most talked-about spaces is ‘The Forest of Intelligence’, an immersive area with manufactured trees capable of absorbing CO2 and features several examples of Spanish projects that contribute to the sustainable use of natural resources. Here you will find the ‘Tree of Balance’, an interactive installation where visitors can clearly perceive how their decisions have a positive or negative impact on the environment.

In the atrium area, the work titled ‘Dinamo’, created by Daniel Canogar, stands out. The artist’s installation is surrounded by ramps, and every time visitors walk along them and rest their hands on the railing, the audio-visual pattern of the artwork will be altered.

In addition to the main exhibition, the Pavilion has complementary exhibition spaces called ‘Sparkles’. The different themed areas review Spain’s contributions to global culture, as well as its ties with the Arab world. Another obligatory stop is the theatre, where Luna de Agosto (August Moon), an 8-minute film created by Nacho Vigalondo, is being screened.

The US

Located in the Opportunity District, the US Pavilion showcases the American spirit: how its dynamic society allowed people to use their own creative ideas for a better tomorrow. The theme, ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of the Future,‘ focuses mainly on freedom and opportunity.

The US Pavillion, designed by architect Woods Bagot, features cultural programs and exhibitions to entertain its visitors all day long. Over 275 performers, including native American dancers, jazz, rock, country, marching bands, and speakers are going to be present at the US Pavilion. Grab some drinks and typical American food as you watch the performers put on a show in the courtyard. Otherwise, step on the moving walkway in the Pavillion that will bring you through the seven different exhibits to show how freedom has helped create opportunity for all.

Other key features will take you “out of this world”. A 140-foot replica of a Space X Falcon 9 rocket welcomes visitors to the Pavilion, while Moon rock from the Apollo missions and a Mars rover prototype will all make their presence felt.

Discover the Dubai Expo 2020 for yourself

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