Dubai Expo 2020: Happening now(2022)

Abhinav Jain
6 min readJan 23, 2022


The ongoing Dubai Expo 2020 is a world exposition running from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, and it includes some of the most innovative ideas in architecture and design today. The expo was rescheduled due to travel and building restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic but has made up for it with plenty of fascinating structures.

The event covers 438 hectares of space between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and features incredible structures by architects, designers, and artists from around the world. Though there is a large range of designs to admire, all are united by the expo’s theme of “connecting minds, creating the future.” Other concepts celebrate the unique contributions to society from certain countries.

If you want to check out some of our favorite architectural projects outside of Dubai Expo 2020. Here are five of our favorite pavilions at Dubai Expo 2020.


Photo: Dubai Expo 2020

Grimshaw’s Sustainability Pavilion was designed as a long term-investment for after Dubai Expo 2020. Officially titled Terra, the structure is made up of a massive “energy tree” measuring 135 meters (442 feet) wide. The design of the energy tree is inspired by the dragon blood tree (Socotra dragon tree).

The circular roof is held up by a central column that flows seamlessly as it performs first as a structure and then transforms into a roof. The main building of the pavilion is surrounded by smaller water trees that filter water and help the complex successfully generate all of the electricity and water needed for it to function. On the interior, visitors can experience 6,000 meters (almost 20,000 square feet) of space designed by Thinc as exhibition areas for a museum on science and sustainability after the expo.


Delicate kinetic sculptures seem to emerge from a modular timber building in the Mobility District. Representing a flock of birds in flight, the sculpture celebrates an unseen connection between the sites of Poland and Dubai — the migration of birds. They also help to provide shade to the exterior.


The pavilion features long timber extrusions with lit-up text at each end. Also known as the Poem Pavilion, an algorithm uses visitor-submitted words in English and Arabic to generate poetry. British designer Es Devlin says the idea came from a desire to both express the cultural diversity of Britain today and to hint at the technological future of the country. We loved this design for the unique engagement with visitors to the expo.


Located in the Mobility District of the expo, the Russia Pavilion stands out amongst the rest with colorful aluminum tubes woven around the entire structure. The complicated patterns of color hint at rapid motion and symbolize the unstoppable and free-flowing movement of ideas and knowledge. The form of the pavilion is inspired by the matryoshka — or Russian nesting doll — and meets the need for shade in the hot climate.

In both form and material application, architect Sergei Tchoban celebrates the culture of Russia and the country’s contribution to the world through science, creativity, and the general progression of knowledge.


The futuristic UAE Pavilion is another example of the architect’s iconic design style. Like many of his other projects, the structure is inspired by the power of flight. Santiago Calatrava Architects & Engineers specifically channeled the actions and forms of a falcon — the national bird of the United Arab Emirates. The dynamic wings are meant to represent the future of architecture largely influenced by the idea of mobility. An operable roof furthers the imagery of the majestic falcon.

India Pavilion

The India Pavilion, inaugurated by Piyush Goyal, Minister of Trade and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Community Distribution and Sewing Clothing, on October 1, 2021, successfully concluded its first month at Expo 2020, Dubai.

The India Pavilion has hosted more than 2,00,000 visitors since November 3 with various sectors and intervals to discuss India’s roadmap of growth. It also found investment opportunities in the country and hosted several cultural events to attract tourists.

Pavilion started during Climate & Biodiversity Week from October 3rd-9th. The Department of Renewable and Renewable Energy has conducted various sessions highlighting the objectives of India’s renewable energy and global climate program. These weeks were followed by Space and Urban and Rural Development weeks, where discussions on sector futures, sector issues and challenges, the role of government legislation and incentives were discussed.

In addition to some industry weeks, the India Pavilion also hosts some churches in Gujarat, Karnataka and UT in Ladakh. The Gujarat region has organized events at the India Pavilion where Bhupendra Patel, the Prime Minister, Gujarat showcased the state-owned Pharma sector and its sustainable development program.

Similarly, Karnataka Week also noted the presence of Murugesh Nirani, Minister, Industrial and Medium Enterprises, Government of Karnataka and Drs. C N Ashwath Narayan, Minister of Higher Education; IT & BT, Science and Technology; Skills Development, Business & Livelihoods, Karnataka Government.

In addition, a series of events highlighting Ladakh opportunities in all areas of focus such as sustainable infrastructure, communication, food processing and tourism were discussed during Ladakh Week in India Pavilion.

Karnataka week marked the announcement of a partnership between the Karnataka Government and the Gulf Islamic Investments (GII) to strengthen investment ties between India and the UAE. The GII investment method in India is relatively inexperienced and the company plans to invest another USD 500m (INR 3,500 crores) in India over the next 3 years and it was one of the key achievements of the Karnataka region.

Climate & Biodiversity Week has had a significant contribution from dignitaries such as R.K. Singh, Minister of Energy, Reconstruction and Renewable Energy, Government. of India, Bhagwanth Khuba, Minister of State, New and Renewable Energy, Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India and Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi, Secretary, Department of Energy and Renewable Energy, Government of India.

Space Sectors were discussed by Dr. K. Sivan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Secretary of the Space Department and Dr. Pawan Goenka, Chairman, Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACE) and Mamaheshwaran R, of Science. Secretary, ISRO.

The Urban and Rural Development Week which commenced from 31 October was attended by senior officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Government of India including, Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary and Director of Mission (Smart Cities Mission); Jaideep, OSD (Urban Transport) and Dinesh Kapila, Economic Advisor (Housing).

The month of October at the India Pavilion also saw a series of cultural activities during the Dusshera and Navratri festivals. This included traditional dances, storytelling, and the music of countless guests and dignitaries. Ongoing Diwali celebrations at the India Pavilion include colorful installation, Swarangoli or LED rangoli lighting, visual displays of fireworks and performances by leading artists such as Salim-Sulaiman, Dhruv and Rooh bands from India and Dubai.

The tourist enthusiasm has led to the India Pavilion being one of the most visited Pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai. The activities and events of October were witnessed by hundreds of enthusiastic and enthusiastic visitors.