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EXPO 2020 Dubai Highlights EXPO 2020

Highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai

All highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai can be found here!

What are the must-dos and must-sees at EXPO 2020 Dubai?

With over 190 participants and around 60 events per day, determining the highlights is always a matter of taste and not easy.

There are so many different pavilions, themes, ideas, shows, concerts, events and approaches.

Some are practical and rather informative. Some participants take a playful approach to the EXPO 2020 motto and others rely on plenty of show effects.

The choices and opportunities are so vast at EXPO 2020 that here follows only my far too small, very subjective (first) list of must-dos and must-sees of EXPO 2020 Dubai.


Simply the Best

Pavilions, Countries, Shows & Attractions

All highlights
the EXPO 2020 Dubai

Must-Dos

! Preparation

Plan EXPO visit well

The most important thing: Make your own plan before your EXPO visit so you don't miss your personal highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai!

Consider which pavilions and attractions you would like to see the most and look already once the area in the APP or at Google Maps to get a first impression about the position of the pavilions and the distances between them.

Read more at "Plan a visit!"


EXPO 2020 Food Guides

01 The host pavilion

The pavilion of Dubai and the UAE from above.

UAE and Dubai Pavilion

The host pavilion represents a flying falcon, the national animal of the United Arab Emirates.

From the outside and inside the building is of Architect Santiago Calatrava very impressive.

It is nestled in a beautiful garden right next to Al Wasl Plaza in the center of the EXPO.
The shape of a flying falcon is meant to represent the United Arab Emirates as an international connection point between many countries around the world.

Inside, you learn about the history of the United Arab Emirates.
You first roam through a virtual desert here.

As a highlight, an elaborately animated and produced film awaits in a 4-D cinema.

Finally, you reach the impressive entrance hall.
If you look closely, you can see the shape of the EXPO 2020 logo on the ceiling.

The Host Pavilion is one of the highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai.


Must See

02 Al Wasl dome, plaza and show

EXPO 2020 Center

The 70-meter high Al Wasl dome is the eye-catcher and one of the architectural symbols of EXPO 2020 Dubai.

It is the center of the mega event and can be seen from everywhere.
And under the dome awaits a real superlative:
Here you can see the largest 360-degree projections in the world!

Animations in the dome of Al Wasl Plaza

Don't miss the daily show in the evening, when oversized sea creatures and other spectacular animations are projected onto the facade of the dome in a lightshow.

Underneath, real dancers dance on stage and everything shines in different colors. At the end of an EXPO day, this is a real goosebump moment at the climax of the show.

By the way, the shape of the dome - as you can easily see - is based on the Logo modeled on the EXPO 2020.


Best View and Good Fun

03 Gardens in the Sky and Water Feature are among the best attractions

One of the highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai: the artificial waterfalls called "Water Feature".

Rotating observation tower and artificial waterfalls

Gardens in the Sky" is a rotating observation tower that offers the best view of the EXPO site and the desert.

From the bird's eye view you can enjoy a unique view and see the pavilions and other attractions also once from above.

This also applies to the "water feature", the artificial waterfalls right next door.

The only difficult question is not whether to visit the Gardens in the Sky, but when.


Best time
It is very beautiful during the sunset, when you still have the view of the surroundings and the nearby desert.
However, the EXPO site looks even more beautiful in the dark, when all the pavilions and the huge dome "Al Wasl" are illuminated.

The Gardens in the Sky attraction costs extra, is normally not included in the ticket price. But it is worth it.

Video Gardens in the Sky

Artificial waterfalls

Right next to the observation tower are the spectacular waterfalls. They are probably the favorite attraction for selfie lovers.

Here, waterfalls suddenly shoot meters high into the water arena in a high arc.

They also provide a little cooling in the hot temperatures, but even more fun.

They were created by the creators of Game of Thrones.


Alif, Terra & Mission Possible

04 The theme pavilions

Pavilions of mobility, opportunities and sustainability

Each sub-theme of the EXPO (sustainability, mobility and opportunities) will be presented in its own spectacular pavilion.

Not only the architecture of the themed pavilions, is one of the highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai.
Inside, one is introduced to the problems and possible solutions.

Here, visitors are given the challenges to the individual sub-areas at the beginning.
Later, approaches to solutions will be presented, for example, to new forms of energy and creative approaches to the extraction of water.

The names of the three pavilions are

  • "Alif" (Pavilion of Mobility)
  • "Terra" (Sustainability Pavilion)
  • "Mission Possible" (Pavilion of Opportunities).

Simply the Best

Country and nation pavilions are among the highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai

Among the most important participants of any EXPO are, of course, the countries and nations.

Here follows a small selection of interesting and impressive country and nation pavilions.

Sustainable Solutions and Good Fun

05 German pavilion

With momentum to a better future at Campus Germany

Germany leads its visitors through Campus Germany and is, as always at world expositions (in recent years), very close to the motto of an EXPO.

Located in the sustainability area of the EXPO 2020, the Energy transition "made in Germany the focus of the German exhibition.

In addition to many informative exhibits on sustainable energy production and energy storage, the various exhibition rooms are repeatedly enriched by interactive elements and shows.

Photo and video highlight for many visitors are the big Ball pool and the "Swing show" at the end of the exhibition in the "Graduation Hall".

Here we go together with momentum and optimism into a better future.


Color your EXPO Life

06 Russia's Brain

The colorful animated Russian EXPO pavilion

It is perhaps the most eye-catching pavilion of all the participants.

From the outside, the Russian pavilion looks like a giant colorful helmet.

The colorful interweaving is intended to create a visual effect of infinity.

Inside, they celebrate Russian creativity and the human brain that connects all thoughts and makes great things happen.

In the main room of the Russian exhibition, you walk across digital brain waves flowing beneath you.

And the oversized, animated "brain" robot in the Main Show is one of the highlights of the World Expo in Dubai.


Spectacular wooden construction

07 Belgian pavilion

Architecture, waffles, comics, beer and extraordinary roof terrace

Belgium is taking a different approach.
However, the no less spectacular facade is mostly made of wood.

The "Green Arch" was designed and implemented by the architects Assar / Vincent Callebaut and is somewhat similar to the French Pavilion at EXPO 2015 in Milan.

"The Green Arch" can be found in the mobility district of Expo 2020.
Here, the emergence of networked green cities through Belgium's scientific, industrial and technological innovations is showcased.

The goal is to show visions for the year 2050 through creative innovations for intelligent and green mobility.

Many of these themes are presented to visitors inside popular Belgian comics.

Of course, Belgium wouldn't be Belgium if they didn't want to win the visitors' favor with their "secret weapons" as well.

There are fresh Belgian waffles, French fries, chocolates - and also Belgian beer. The latter, however, only behind a sign that says "Alcoholic Zone!" to "warn" the Muslim visitors...

For relaxing hours after a long EXPO day, the pretty roof terrace, which is located in exactly this "Alcoholic Zone", is also suitable.
Popular there is not only the Belgian beer, but also one of the best views of Alif, the mobility pavilion.
And here you can also find the comics. As one of the best and funniest artworks of the whole EXPO.


Bird migration to the Arab world

08 Polish pavilion

Poland Pavilion EXPO 2020 Dubai

The kinetic wood facade

Another interesting wooden facade can be found right next door at the Pavilion of Poland.

The facade is equipped with many small kinetic sculptures that move like flags in the wind.

They are intended to commemorate the mass migration of birds from Poland to the Arab world.


Green oasis in the desert

09 Singapore pavilion

Singapore Pavilion EXPO 2020 Dubai

The sustainable rainforest pavilion with automatic measurement technology

The Singapore Pavilion is like a green oasis in the middle of the desert and is one of the highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai.

You walk through it over passages and bridges through the green vegetation, accompanied by sounds from nature.

Interactive screens allow visitors to learn more about the pavilion's sustainability concept and new urban planning concepts from Singapore.

All in all, Singapore wants its pavilion to showcase the possibilities of living together in balance with nature in an urban environment.

For this purpose, small robots drive up and down the green facades of the pavilion and take measurements to gather scientific knowledge in these climatic conditions.

Before entering the Singapore pavilion, however, a fever is first taken to ensure that no covid cases enter the city-state's pavilion.

If you get in healthy, you are rewarded with water fans, among other things, and cooled down a bit by them.

The top floor also features small delicacies from Singapore's renowned food scene.


Eyecatcher and AI poems

10 UK Pavilion

UK Pavilion EXPO 2020 Dubai

The "Poem Pavilion" by Es Devlin is one of the eye-catchers of EXPO 2020

In recent years, Great Britain usually comes to world exhibitions with the biggest eye-catchers.

In Shanghai, Thomas Heatherwick impressed with the "Seed Cathedral" in 2010.

In 2015, Wolfgang Buttress brought the giant hive "The Hive" to Milan.

And now the British have succeeded in creating another outstanding building at an Expo with the "Poem Pavilion" by Es Devlin.
2021 now also by a female artist and set designer.

Architecturally, the British contribution is one of the highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai.

However, the British pavilions often "enjoy" controversial discussion.

Because the exhibitions themselves are, on the surface, very reduced. This was true for Shanghai, just as it was for Milan and also now in Dubai.

Because for many people the interior is just "an empty space" where there is not much to see.

In fact, the pavilion is inspired by one of Stephen Hawking's last projects.

In this project - called "Breakthrough Message" - the British pavilion invites people to think about what message we would send as a planet if we were to one day encounter other advanced civilizations in space.

For this purpose, each visitor inside is allowed to name his or her own word to the staff, which is then formed into a poem using AI with words from other visitors. Hence the name "Poem Pavilion".

The words and poems later appear on digital displays on the outside wall of the UK Pavilion.

With the resonant name "1851" (for the younger among you: Alluding to the first World's Fair in London in 1851.), the British Pavilion also has a restaurant on the lower floor that will hopefully satisfy all visitors.
After all, with British food, people like to joke about the quality of the food. Let's hope that it wouldn't have been just as good here to have the food prepared by AI instead of a British chef... A little fun on the side... ;-)


The largest screens of the EXPO

11 Saudi Arabia pavilion

Front of the Saudi Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai
Saudi pavilion from the side at EXPO 2020 Dubai

Weird building and giant screens

Saudi Arabia is once again laying it on thick at a world exhibition.
Especially as a neighboring country of the host and itself a candidate for EXPO 2030, Dubai does not take much notice.

Because since 2010, the country seems to be driven by the desire to present the largest screens at EXPOs in the world.

In Shanghai 11 years ago, it was the largest IMAX screen in the world at the time. At that time, the pavilion allegedly already cost more than 150 million EUR. An unimaginable sum not only at that time.

In Dubai, you are now greeted by a very large screen on the sloping exterior façade, even from the outside.
The slanted construction of the pavilion alone would have been enough to attract attention.

An incredibly large, visually quite impressive, two-part screen then awaits inside.

One part of the oversized round screen is practically in front of and below the visitors.
Those who wish can also stand on a bridge in between.

On a second screen further forward, the video continues from the bottom almost realistically to the top screen.
A technically elaborate and impressive experience.

Unknown nature shots are shown, one floats through Mecca, but also industrial plants to dramatic music are shown.

In other rooms there are - you guessed it - more interesting video animations and shows.

In addition - and somewhat in contrast to these high-tech shows - the Saudis are also very active on the EXPO grounds with various traditional dance groups.


Tradition & Modernity

12 Thailand Pavilion

Thailand pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai in the evening

Shows, mascots and tuk-tuk ride

Traditional dance and puppet shows are held daily in front of the Thailand Pavilion.

You can also take an imaginary ride on a real tuk-tuk through Bangkok there.
It looks and wobbles something like the questionable children's carousels at supermarket entrances.
But disguised as a tuk-tuk with a ride through Bangkok, it is of course much cooler.

Inside, visitors can expect an idiosyncratic but interesting journey through Thailand's history, present and future.

Guides are the virtual mascots of the Thailand pavilion. Such mascots are also a Thai specialty at world exhibitions.


Sustainable bathing

13 Hungary Pavilion

The illuminated Hungary Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai in the evening

Budapest's spa culture

Another pavilion made of wood with a charming architecture shows Hungary.

In the evening, it glows purple. And inside, it celebrates Budapest's bathing culture.

Here it is emphasized that the hot baths spring from natural sources.

In addition to some successful animations and information in the pavilion, you can make yourself comfortable in a ball pool at the end of the main show and watch the projection on the ceiling from there.

A touch of Al Waslalthough not quite as large...


Yummi

Food & Drinks at EXPO 2020 Dubai

EXPO offers the most delicious food specialties from all regions of the world. You can enjoy them in extraordinary restaurants with rooftop bars and the best view of the most beautiful pavilions.

Yummi!

14 Best Food & Drinks at EXPO 2020 Dubai

Local food and tea at the Tea House at EXPO 2020 Dubai

Culinary Diplomacy & Local Specialties

In any case, you should take the opportunity to visit one of the international restaurants in one of the country pavilions to try new food!

Many of the participating countries have their own Restaurants with typical dishes of the country brought along. These culinary journeys are not to be missed!

Where else do you get the chance to choose authentic food from so many different countries in such a small space?

At EXPO 2020, there will also be a African Dining Hall with specialties from the African continent.

Of course, host Dubai and neighboring countries (e.g., at the Grand Beirut) also offer attractive dining options.

Another attraction for many visitors is the Talabat restaurant.
Here, unusually, you are served and cooked by robots.

Friends from Fine-Dining come in the Jubilee Gastronomy at their expense.
In the rooftop restaurant right next to the Al Wasl dome, international star chefs cook for guests for whom the budget is not quite so important.


Eyecatcher

Other attractions and highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai

Architectural highlights, the best ideas and oversized lasers.

Lights on

15 Huge lasers over China and Kuwait pavilion

The laser above the China Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai
The Kuwait pavilion also shines high into the night sky at EXPO 2020 Dubai

These two pavilions light up the night sky above the EXPO

You don't have to look far for China and Kuwait at the EXPO in the evening.

Huge lasers were installed above both pavilions, which can be seen far up in the Dubai night sky.

And, by the way, you can use them as a good orientation on the EXPO site if you are looking for one or the other vanishing point.


Small but nice

16 Visit the smaller pavilions

Estonia Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai

Size doesn't matter

The self-built and architecturally attractive pavilions of the major countries are often points of attraction for visitors.

Smaller countries, on the other hand, often have a hard time attracting attention at EXPOs or getting any visibility at all.

Serbia Pavilion


Serbia In contrast, EXPO 2020, for example, succeeds very well.

Although the pavilion is not one of the largest, it is a real eye-catcher.

This is especially true in the evening, when the lighting and rotating screens illuminate the individual form and attract visitors.

Inside, they've also chosen an interesting form of on-screen animation that's so much more creative than some other major countries that just show boring movies or poorly designed info panels.

Serbia, being quite small in Dubai, also treated itself to a homemade pavilion to attract attention.

Estonia Pavilion

Estonia is just as much one of the most positive visual phenomena and highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai.

The Estonians come without their own pavilion and architecture (they use a building provided by the organizers).

With a luminous logo and a discreet light animation on the facade, however, the blue pavilion quickly attracts attention.

Inside, the pavilion of Estonia is one of the best done!
More than 400 Blue Neon Spheres move in a light show alongside outstanding portrait photos.

Estonia's motto and participation mainly revolve around the advanced digitization in the country that other countries can only dream of.

For me, at least, one of the visual highlights of the smaller pavilions.


Even Smaller

17 Don't forget the little ones!

Smaller pavilions on the outskirts of the EXPO are not very visible...

Almost invisible, but worth a visit

For the smallest countries, the effort is usually significantly higher than for the financially well-endowed nations.

And they are sometimes unfortunately quite hidden in the second row.
Moreover, they can rarely if ever attract attention with spectacular pavilion architecture.

Therefore, they should not be forgotten during a visit to EXPO!
And depending on your preference, a look at the pavilions is particularly worthwhile.

At EXPO 2020, unfortunately, they were additionally "hidden" behind hard-to-see entrance doors, making them even less easy to find.

Behind the doors, however, there is often an interesting insight into countries and cultures that one does not yet know well. Or only from dubious reporting or clichés.

In Panama there is, for example, a nice guided tour of the employee and an interesting shelf construction made of cardboard.

Here you will get to know, among other things, the national bird "Harpy", which even adorns the coat of arms of Panama.
And the traditional costume of the inhabitants of Panama is also presented on an interactive screen.

Another advantage with small gazebos:
With the small pavilions is often also the Waiting time much shorter.
And most of the time you don't have to wait at all before you get into the pavilion.

In addition, you can talk to the employees and get a few extra details and insider information.


Cultural shows

18 Traditional costumes and dances are other highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai

Colorful, unfamiliar outfits and exuberant mood

Strongly represented at this first world exhibition in the Arab region are of course the traditional dances and dancers from the region.

In the entrance area of the EXPO and in front of the pavilion of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, one often sees drummers and singers. Young girls let their hair swing to this.
They all form a trellis for the guests of honor.

Morocco and Saudi Arabia also have their own dance groups.

In front of the pavilion of Kuwait there is a big stage, where every evening there are big folklore shows under the huge laser.


When Women thrive...

19 Women's Pavilion is among the highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai

Not just glitter facade sponsored by Cartier. Quite the opposite...

The EXPO 2020 Dubai Women's Pavilion is only the second pavilion ever dedicated to women at world expositions.

The motto of the Women's Pavilion in Dubai is "When women thrive, society thrives."

The exhibition invites visitors to recognize the pivotal role that women have played throughout history to the present, and acknowledges their significant - yet often forgotten - contribution to the progress of societies around the world.

To find such a pavilion at the EXPO in Dubai, of all places, is remarkable and a surprise for some visitors. After all, the role of women in the "Arab world" is often viewed very critically in the Western world.

This makes it all the more exciting to hear about a women's pavilion at EXPO 2020 in Dubai.
Especially if it's a pavilion with a glittery facade and the inscription "Woman's Pavilion in Collaboration with Cartier".

One quickly assumes evil: Probably a jewelry and shopping pavilion that considers and reduces women solely to their role as "shopping queen" and "beauty next to the man".
Because you see this role model quite often in Dubai with many women (from all parts of the world).

Fortunately, this is not the case.
Because inside, many female role models for emancipation and equal rights (of women) are shown, who are or were successful in a wide variety of social, political and professional fields.

And they are here at EXPO in Dubai to encourage (young) women to emulate them.

Female role models include, for example, the Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, who, as a woman of Arab descent, asserted herself in a Western-dominated male domain (and unfortunately passed away far too early).

You can also see a historical samurai warrior or female fighters from India.
Fittingly, a portrait of jet pilot Mariam al-Mansuri, the first female fighter pilot in the United Arab Emirates.

The recently deceased U.S. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburgh is another "fighter" (albeit in a different sense) who worked for justice and a greater role for women until the end of her life, shown here.

And even the lesbian captain of the American national soccer team Megan Rapinoe is mentioned here with a picture.

At the beginning - and this could also be the message at the end of the pavilion - you see girls who wish to live in an equal world with equal opportunities.

This message and positive examples make the Women's Pavilion one of the highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai.


Between desert and metropolis

20 Vision pavilion

From the vision to today's Dubai

To get a (further) feel for the host country, it is also worth visiting the "Vision Pavilion".

Dubai's history and the vision of the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid Al Maktum, is told here from his perspective.

In the first room, you learn about his (childhood) experiences and relationships with the Bedouins in the desert - and his encounters with scorpions.

Another room is about the importance that horses have for him - and which three principles he has derived from this connection for himself and his own life.

In this room stands a meter-high horse statue, which serves among other things as a projection surface for unusual video sequences.

In the last room, you can see in an animation how his vision for Dubai has become a reality.

In addition, in the Vision Pavilion you will find a replica of the ring that was the origin and template for the EXPO 2020 logo applies.


Robots and mascots

21 Opti

Opti is the friendly orange robot at EXPO 2020.

The secret star of EXPO 2020

Opti is actually only one of several Mascot of EXPO 2020.

After a short time, however, he became the secret star of the mascot family and is also one of the overall highlights of the entire EXPO 2020 Dubai.

He is often seen with enthusiastic visitors who can not escape his charm.

You can make a little small talk with the little orange robot or watch him dance with his peers.


Don't miss

Other pavilions to look at

This list is constantly being expanded. And some of the pavilions and attractions listed here could easily appear in the top 20 as well.

At EXPOs it is always an individual question, which sights are the most important for you and how you relate to the countries.

And a top 20 list is of course far too short with just under 200 participants, regardless of personal preferences.

Man and machine dance

22 Kazakhstan

Chic facade and robot dance

The pavilion facade of the last EXPO organizer of 2017 is very successful.

In the evening it is beautifully illuminated and with its shape almost outshines the neighboring US pavilion.

The human-machine show inside is really casual, with an artist being carried through the world on a robot arm. The show is one of the highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai.


Close connection to the host region

23 Spain

Colorful turrets in national colors, sustainable solutions and giant dynamo

Outside, the Spanish pavilion with its yellow and red turrets can be seen from afar.

Inside, it is about the close connection of the Spaniards to the Arab region.

The topic of sustainability is also explained in detail in a large room with many examples on the topics of food, mobility and energy.

The highlight of the exhibition is the large dynamo, an art installation designed to inspire people to act together and produce renewable energy.


David's detail

24 Italy

Italy Pavilion EXPO 2020 Dubai

The unifying beauty of Italy and green algae

The EXPO organizer of 2015 will present its pavilion at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai with the motto "Beauty connects people".

The huge building, which does not look quite as graceful as was probably intended during planning, shows itself to be versatile on the inside.

The biggest (and certainly not unintentional) attention is attracted by a 3D replica of a very famous Roman figure.

The giant youth David can be seen on two floors. Unlike the original in Florence, here in Dubai you can meet him at eye level.

This is a clever trick, since not all visitors are supposed to see the small, uncovered David here. This is only visible to visitors in the V.I.P. room on the lower floor.

The physical well-being is provided with Italian coffee and in the noble restaurant (in cooperation with Bulgari) with the finest Italian food.

But the best thing here is that the CO2 emitted by visitors to the Italy Pavilion is recycled by microalgae and converted into oxygen.


Traditional construction and cultural treasures

25 Morocco

Eight-story adobe building with impressive atrium

The Moroccan pavilion is a large, very successful building and is definitely one of the highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai.

The 8-story, 33-meter-high building shows the connection between Morocco's tradition and modernity on 6057 square meters.

Morocco's commitment to sustainability also plays a major role.

The building is constructed in traditional style.

Visitors are taken by elevator to the 7th floor and can explore the pavilion from top to bottom along a path that mirrors Moroccan medinas.

The atrium and the inner courtyard "Wast Eddar" are impressive.

It is especially beautiful at midday, when the sun fills the entire interior with light and is reflected in the large sculpture below.
The same applies to the evening, when the lighting creates an equally beautiful atmosphere.

A highlight is the large room where traditional herbs and modern medicine are exhibited.

The most visually beautiful experience in the Moroccan pavilion is the "Movement".
A huge sphere suspended from the ceiling, projecting golden patterns on the walls by rotation.

Due to its height, the pavilion is also a very good viewing tower of many areas of the EXPO site.
From up here you have a good view of other pavilions and attractions.

The Moroccan Pavilion also has a restaurant serving typical dishes of the country and a tea room.


Digital journey with virtual tour guide

26 Egypt

Egypt Pavilion

Modern exhibition with historical treasures

Egypt presents itself in Dubai with an attractive architecture.
Inside, the pavilion is very professional and well designed.

The exhibition alternates between information with show and past and future.

You embark on a digital journey with the virtual tour guide Ayda.

If you like gold and like to see it glitter, you've come to the right place.


Connecting facade

27 Japan

Japan Pavilion EXPO 2020 Dubai

Shows, combined cultures, Japanese food and humor.

Japan shouldn't actually come in at position 27 first.
This gazebo is actually one of my favorites.

Because especially the humor, which one misses with some participants, one finds here! This is also one of my highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai.

On the outside, Japan once again presents one of the most striking facades at a world exhibition.

The exciting thing: Japanese facade design combines traditional arabesque and asanoha patterns. In other words, design elements from Arab and Japanese culture.

The facade is also reflected in the water in front of the pavilion.
In the evening, the pavilion is illuminated and impresses with its shape and colors.

In its pavilion, Japan shows several rooms on different themes. There is a guided tour and usually the waiting times are quite long. However, the wait is worth it.

In the first room there is a reunion with the old familiar Pac-Mans.
The younger ones here are happy about anime comics.

Another room is dedicated to the connection between famous Dubai landmarks and Japanese-inspired food fun.
This is because various sights from Dubai and themes from the EXPO in Essen have been recreated here.

Actually, they do say "you don't play with food".
But first, these are just replicas and second, the figures, like the "bread train" representing the Dubai Metro, the astronauts climbing out of a tangerine and the replica "Dubai frame" are too funny.

This exhibition should not be missed if you want to smile a little. The room is one of the highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai.

But Japan is of course also seriously addressing the important issues of EXPO 2020 in other rooms.

In room four, attention is drawn to the ongoing destruction of our planet. And at the same time, that everyone can help to counteract this.
When a film stops and the room is darkened, shortly afterwards you suddenly see yourself in the mirror.

That's pretty direct for the Japanese, who are actually considered to be so reserved.
But I find this move very successful and it creates a good moment to reflect on a very problematic situation for our planet.

In the last room, things get a little crazy again during the "dance" show, when you dance around the room with the pavilion hosts.

Advertising for EXPO 2025 in Osaka

Last but not least, the EXPO 2025 advertised.
Because Japan is the host of the next World Expo in Osaka, Kansai.


Austria makes Sense

28 Austria

Far from home and the cliché

Once again, Austria is doing everything in its architecture (as it did in Shanghai) to escape the common clichés of traditional costume and alpine romance.

The Austrian pavilion consists of a network of 38 intersecting cones.

The design is said to be reminiscent of wind towers in the Arab world.

They are among the most unusual constructions and are eye-catchers and highlights of EXPO 2020 Dubai.

They were inspired by Arabic mud architecture and the usual air-conditioning technology was almost completely dispensed with.

In this way, the cavernous spaces under the cones are pleasantly cooled without the need for much energy.

According to the architectural firm Querkraft, the concept is aimed at "mindful and respectful use of our earthly resources."

Inside, as you walk through the pavilion, you discover cave paintings that are meant to represent a connection between Austria and the host country.


Vertical farm

29 Netherlands

Vertical biotope and Oranje sunshade

A bit rugged, but pretty cool, Holland presents itself from the outside at the EXPO with huge, rusty steel girders.

Above it, in typical Dutch fashion, an orange awning protects visitors from the desert sun.

Inside the pavilion, you become part of a show yourself. You get an umbrella, which is used as a projection screen.

In the sustainability area of EXPO 2020, the Netherlands has set up a vertical mushroom farm for this purpose. This mini-biotope can be seen from the other side at the end of the exhibition. Edible plants are cultivated here.

And through this vertical garden is also to control the climate in a natural way.

It is also a popular photo spot for visitors.


Mirror facade & dense fog

30 Switzerland

Swiss fog clears to reveal panoramas, reflections and innovations

Switzerland presents itself with a mirrored cubic building inspired by Bedouin tents.

This funnel-shaped mirror front of the pavilion is both eye-catcher and mirror surface for the visitors.

The pavilion is all about Swiss culture, nature and innovation.

Here you first roam through the foggy mountains.
The artificial mountain fog is something completely unknown to the inhabitants of the desert state.

In Dubai, similar visual restrictions are only known from sandstorms or when your glasses fog up when you come out of the pleasantly air-conditioned subway into the desert heat.

However, if the fog lifts here at the "mountain top", a magnificent Swiss mountain panorama awaits the visitors.

The third act of the hike shows the urban, sustainable and creative side of Switzerland.

There, a last sensual experience awaits the visitors:
From the sea of fog, they can catch drops of water to discover Swiss innovations and achievements and to "draw knowledge from the sources of innovation."


Photo gallery and external media

Best EXPO 2020
Photos & Videos

Here you can find the best photos and videos of EXPO 2020 Dubai and many impressions of the mega event in Dubai.


This EXPO 2020 Dubai highlights page is updated frequently.

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