Dubai Expo 2020: Israel’s ‘no walls and borders’ pavilion to symbolise openness

Expo 2020 Dubai will host over 200 countries and is expected to attract 25 million visitors in six months from October 2021

  
Al Wasl Plaza will be the centrepiece of Expo2020 Dubai. With 1 year until the opening of the World Expo, the structure's design partner explains what Al Wasl Plaza is, and shares his thoughts on how this central hub will have a lasting impact on Dubai. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

Al Wasl Plaza will be the centrepiece of Expo2020 Dubai. With 1 year until the opening of the World Expo, the structure's design partner explains what Al Wasl Plaza is, and shares his thoughts on how this central hub will have a lasting impact on Dubai. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

Israel will mark its presence at Dubai Expo 2020 this year with a message of ‘openness and cooperation’ with the Gulf region in the true spirit of the Abraham Accords,” Elazar Cohen, Israel’s Expo Commissioner, said on Wednesday.

“What unites us is much bigger than what divides us. That is the message we want to convey,” Cohen said while unveiling the pavilion at a press conference in Dubai.

Touted as the biggest show on earth, Expo 2020 Dubai will host over 200 countries and is expected to attract 25 million visitors in six months from October 2021.

Relations between the UAE and Israel have flourished at a rapid pace since both countries signed the US-brokered Abraham Accords and normalized ties, and Israel’s participation is expected to take that momentum forward.

The normalisation of relations with the Gulf countries is just a beginning, he said. “Our presence in the UAE is a milestone which will be read about in the history books.”

“We are grateful to the UAE for inviting us to participate in Expo 2020 even before relations were normalised,” the country’s Expo chief said.

“It is a huge opportunity for us all. For the first time, we will be able to connect with millions of visitors from the Middle East and beyond,” said Cohen, adding the Expo offers ‘endless possibilities for collaboration in cybersecurity, agriculture, space technology and energy to mention a few”.

Cohen said work on Israel’s pavilion at the expo site is complete and the finishing touches are being given.

He said the pavilion reflects Israel’s ‘openness’ to the Arab world and a sense of belonging to the region. “The pavilion is inspired by an open tent. This could be the only pavilion where you can see the horizon, symbolizing our invitation to join us for a journey toward a good future.”

A short video clip that offers a glimpse into the pavilion with ‘no walls and borders’ showcases Israel’s innovations and its multicultural society.

The design elements, such as the sand dune and a shaded Middle Eastern street, also reflect an Arabic flavour. The pavilion has seven gates. The stairs leading to the upper floor is arched by large LED screens that will display different aspects of Israeli society and its culture. The innovation corridor will showcase the best of Israel’s tech and innovation.

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