Austria sees Expo 2020 Dubai as an opportunity to bring the world together following the impact of the current pandemic
Austria reached an important milestone today with the completion of the basic structure of its pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai. The construction process was taking place under the United Arab Emirate authorities’ health and safety rules for construction sites in Dubai in context of Covid-19. “The postponement of the World Expo until October 2021 made it necessary to adapt the timeline for the construction of the Austria Pavilion,” explained Austria’s Commissioner General Beatrix Karl. “Phase one of construction is now finished, with the completion of the outer shell,” Karl added.
The ground-breaking ceremony on the 2,400 square metre plot that is home to the Austria Pavilion was held in October 2019, and the first of 38 cones that form the pavilion was completed in spring 2020. The cones have a diameter of 7 metres at the base, are between 6 and 15 metres high and intersect one another to form space sequences of varying sizes. A total of 246 prefabricated elements were connected by couplings to form the 38 cones. This will make disassembly after use easy, and will allow reassembly at a different location. “Construction phase two will last until the beginning of 2021. The exhibits, fittings, and furnishings will be installed in plenty of time before the opening,” explained Commissioner Karl.
Austria sees Expo 2020 Dubai as an opportunity to bring the world together following the impact of the current pandemic. “We must now take action beyond national borders and across the relevant disciplines to build a robust recovery together,” stressed Margarete Schramboeck, Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs. She added that the World Expo next year will offer a unique platform for addressing open issues, potential solutions, and experiences gained during the global crisis and for drawing important conclusions. “Austria will present itself as a reliable business partner and innovation hub in challenging times,” said Minister Schramboeck.
“The coronavirus has also impacted Austria’s successful, export-oriented economy. Our participation in the World Expo in Dubai – with more than 190 participating countries and innumerable businesspeople from around the world – is an important step in getting exports back up to speed as quickly as possible. At the Austria Pavilion, we will present forward-looking products and services that are made in Austria to an international audience and will further boost the profile of our companies in the region,” stressed Harald Mahrer, president of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.
The unique pavilion concept was developed by the Viennese architectural firm querkraft and combines innovative building methods with concepts from traditional Arabian construction. Thanks to this special architecture and the smart climate control concept, the pavilion needs 70 per cent less energy than a comparable conventionally air-conditioned building in weather conditions similar to those in the gulf region. The exhibition is being curated and run by Ars Electronica Solutions and büro wien. Around 100 Austrian companies are participating in the Expo, which still bears the name “Expo 2020 Dubai” despite its postponement until 2021. The theme of the Expo “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” is all the more relevant given the current, unprecedented global situation.
The World Expo in Dubai was postponed by one year due to the global impact of COVID-19 and will be held from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. More than 200 participants, including countries, multilateral organisations, businesses and educational establishments, will take part under the overarching theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.
Austria’s presence at the Expo is being financed with funds from the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.