Top officials during the ground-breaking ceremony in Dubai on Thursday.
Business Bureau, Gulf Today
Less than two months after its unveiling in Paris, the French Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai, Lumière Lumières, begins its construction. Élisabeth Borne, Minister of State, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, in charge of Transport, in the presence of the Expo 2020 teams and those of COFREX, in charge of French participation in universal and specialized exhibitions, on Thursday laid the foundation stone of the work designed by a new collective combining architects and visual artists of light. Built on a plot of more than 4,200m2 within the exhibition›s Mobility area (the other two being dedicated to Opportunity and Sustainability) the French Pavilion will offer an immersive experience to all its visitors.
«During the 6 months of Expo 2020 Dubai, the French Pavilion will embody the vision of mobility driven by our institutions and our public and private companies. In the spirit of the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, it will be a question of demonstrating how digital technology and innovation can be used to devise solutions for smarter, more pleasant to live in, and better-connected cities and territories,» says Élisabeth Borne.
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 it will rely, particularly on its strengths in the digital field. First and foremost is a unique range of services and urban operators mobilized to build the cities of tomorrow. Innovative in the provision of services, large French companies, as well as SMEs, bring a global vision and proposals.
This vision is that of a city that is attractive, not only because of the technologies deployed, but also because of the new services they offer, in a way that is both viable and sustainable.
«At the service of French companies - major players as well as start-ups - and all those who innovate, the Pavillon France is a concrete 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 and share the French way of life with visitors from all over the world,» explains Erik Linquier, General Commissioner of the Pavilion France and President of the Compagnie française des expositions (COFREX).
Emblematic of French participation in the exhibition, a showcase of economic and tourist attractiveness as well as an experiential space for all audiences, the French Pavilion will express France›s unique vision by combining an ambitious architectural gesture, an immersive scenography and a virtuous design.
Light is at the heart of the inspiration of the French Pavilion, designed as an oasis from which a canopy of light literally emerges. A device, designed by the Atelier du Prado Architectes, Celnikier & Grabli and the SNAIK collective, that goes beyond the usual boundaries of the building, merging matter and light into a building that sublimates the different contents of permanent and temporary exhibitions.
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. Of virtuous design, 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.
Meanwhile, a good meal can unite people of all nationalities, cultures, ages and backgrounds. And Expo 2020 Dubai is set to bring millions of visitors together to discover global cuisines, innovative culinary experiences, future-shaping food tech, old classics, new favourites, street bites and gourmet delights across more than 200 food and beverage (F&B) outlets.
Expo 2020 will be a foodie’s paradise, with options to suit every palate and budget. There will be 50-plus cuisines to try across an area equal in size to seven football pitches, with almost 300,000 meals served per day – enough to feed every person in Barbados. Visitors can also book a culinary tour for a delicious, deep-dive experience spanning cultures and continents.
World-famous chefs will further stir up the excitement, while visitors will also gain a glimpse of the culinary experiences of tomorrow, with Expo looking to incorporate robotics, augmented reality and virtual reality into its F&B offering.
Darren Tse, Director – F&B, Programming at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “As a global celebration welcoming 190 participating nations, it’s only fitting that Expo 2020 Dubai is a world-class dining destination featuring a wealth of flavours and innovative concepts from every corner of the planet. There will be something to suit everyone’s taste and budget, whether you are a foodie seeking a new gastronomic experience, an innovator keen to see how technology will change how you order food, or simply looking to feed your family without breaking the bank.”
Emirati hospitality will be on show, as will Dubai’s diverse and innovative F&B scene. Much-loved local restaurants and talented up-and-comers will be introduced to an international audience, while UAE-inspired cuisine and traditional dishes from the wider Arab world will be enjoyed in a food hall setting.