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France unveils its Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion


Brune Poirson, Secretary of State to François de Rugy, Minister of State, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, unveiled the French Pavilion for the World Expo to be held in Dubai from October 20th 2020 to April 10th 2021 under the theme of “Connecting minds, Creating the future”. The French Pavilion will be both a symbol of France’s participation in this world event an emblem of the promotion oft French innovation and an experiential space for all visitors. The French Pavilion will express, through its name “Light, Lights”, France’s singular and innovative vision in terms of ecological and inclusive transition, combining a strong architectural gesture with an innovative immersive scenography.

“The Expo 2020 Dubai will be a major opportunity to demonstrate that our choices in favour of ecological and inclusive transition are conducive to solutions, meaning and growth. Solutions to make daily life respectful of the planet and citizens. Meaningful and growing also for our companies, both public and private, whose innovations will delight future visitors to our Pavilion” emphasizes Brune Poirson.

French Pavilion: the blueprint to foster light

In the heart of a site of nearly 4.5km2 south of Dubai, the “Light, Lights” pavilion will be located in the area dedicated to Mobility, the other two themes being respectively dedicated to Sustainability and Opportunity. The French Pavilion aims to highlight the fastest possible mobility, but also to embody the Enlightenment, a symbol since the 18th century of sharing and spreading knowledge. The French Pavilion will promote the French innovation model, which makes it possible to conciliate sustainable development and international business competitiveness for connected and sustainable cities and territories, serving the citizen and the common good.

Designed by the Atelier du Prado Architectes and Celnikier & Grabli, ​the French Pavilion has the light as one of the key inspirations. It was thought as an oasis from which a true canopy of light literally emerges.  A facility that goes beyond the limits of a regular building since it fuses materials and light in a single structure to showcase the content of permanent and temporary exhibitions. A powerful idea lies at the heart of the project: to begin the visitor’s journey outside the structure and continue the experience seamlessly inside, transforming waiting time into a moment of sharing and emotion –  a concert of sensations that encourages reverie.

Inside, the permanent exhibition – over 800m2 – will showcase the assets of the French-style city in an organic scenography that combines sound, light, perfume and materials. Designed by the “Immersive(s)” group, of which the SNAIK agency is a member, with Jean Marie Priol as artistic director, it is conceived as a striking immersive and pedagogical experience.

A real living space, a meeting point open to the world, a space of economic and tourist attraction for our territories. The “Light, Lights” pavilion will be punctuated by a constantly changing program during the 24 weeks of the Expo 2020 Dubai.

In line with France’s ecological ambition, notably through the One Planet Summit, this pavilion will be the most sustainable ever built because it can be dismantled and reused. Thought and designed as virtuous, it will be deployed according to the 3 pillars of bio-climatism: renewable, clean and controlled energy, sustainable materials and a circular economy at work.

French Pavilion: a tool for promotion, development and attractiveness

“An opportunity to promote an urban model driven by French actors, to support the development of our companies in emerging countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, promotion of the economic and tourist attractiveness of the French territory, Expo 2020 Dubai must enable France to defend its vision of sustainable cities and connected territories”, explains Erik Linquier, General Commissioner of the French Pavilion and President of the Compagnie Française des Expositions (COFREX), a company created by the State and in charge since January 2018 of organising French participation in Universal and International Exhibitions.

Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, the theme of Expo 2020 Dubai is a strong and differentiating point of the French offer. Through its participation, France intends to make the mobility of people, goods, territories, ideas and information a fundamental issue in solving the challenges of transitions, whether technological, ecological or economic. These are all subjects on which France will rely on and in particular on its strengths in the digital field, which today makes possible the emergence of new, intelligent and pleasant cities, but also of better connected territories or even more shared knowledge and know-how.

At the service of French companies – major players as well as new talents – and all those who innovate, the French Pavilion will represent a specific tool, an incomparable showcase for the know-how and innovations of French companies as well as a platform to accelerate the international development of the French offer, in particular in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, areas where visitors are mainly from, with 20% of which are professionals. Designed to demonstrate how digital technology creates new models of services and uses for the benefit of all, the French Pavilion must embody the best of the French offer, through its partners with diverse profiles: private and public companies, local authorities, academia and research centres, institutions of general interest.

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