Want to know what Canada, Finland, Japan, Spain and Sweden have in common? Visitors to Expo 2020 will discover the rich cultures of each of these countries – and that they all have strong links to the UAE.
Each country’s heritage and ties with Arabic culture will be showcased by their pavilion’s distinctive architecture, individual installations and diverse programming during Expo 2020.
Take the Spain Pavilion, with its motto of Intelligence for Life
– a reflection of Spain’s Hispanic-Arab community’s contribution to developments throughout history.
Did you know, for example, that chess was brought to Spain from the Arab world before becoming popular in Europe and the United States? With several plazas integrated into the pavilion’s design, visitors will also discover Arab influences in flamenco music, learn about the architectural imprints that the Moors left on Spain and the influence of Arabic on the Spanish language, all while experiencing the shared values of hospitality.
While a snow cape-inspired design might seem distinctly Finnish, the Finland Pavilion will also feature an entrance that resembles an Arabic tent and a 500 sqm Finland Majlis.
An Arabic term for ‘sitting place’, the majlis is deeply rooted in the traditions of the UAE and a cornerstone of Emirati civilisation. A place where people engage in vibrant conversation, solving problems and connecting with one another, visitors to the Finland Pavilion will be able to join a seminar or participate in a networking event.
The Canada Pavilion, developed by Canada’s award-wining Moriyama and Teshima Architects, takes inspiration from musical instruments of both Canadian and Emirati heritage, while the use of a geometric lattice in the exterior screen is inspired both by Canada’s sustainable approach as well as to the mashrabiya, a striking architectural feature traditionally used in Arabic residences.
The mashrabiya will also find a home at the Sweden Pavilion, where a modern interpretation of this traditional art will be found in screens that create private areas above the exhibition area, using wooden grids that provide shade.
Meanwhile, the Japan Pavilion will combine Arabesque and Asanoha (a Japanese geometric pattern) designs. A sustainable cooling system will incorporate long-established Arabic and Japanese techniques, including a soft thin material that protects the pavilion from sunlight, and an expanse of water in front of the building that will cool the area and reflect its three-dimensional façade.
Expo 2020, starting on 20 October 2020, will be the most inclusive and international in World Expo history, convening 192 countries, along with multilateral organisations, educational establishments and businesses, for a global celebration of human brilliance and achievement.