Ireland Unveils Pavilion for Expo 2020, Dubai

Inspired by the megalithic Newgrange lightbox, the pavilion holds a 360° exhibition and a performance space where organisers will tell the epic story of Ireland as an island of inspiration.

Expo 2020 Dubai takes place from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021. It is the first ever World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region and over 190 countries will take part.

The 900 sq m Irish pavilion will be in the Mobility pavilion, near Jubilee Park and have a capacity for 15,000 people.

Designers, OPW, took inspiration from Co Meath’s Newgrange that dates back more than 5,000 years. The ancient passage tomb is illuminated completely annually at the time of winter solstice when sunlight floods the inner chamber through a roofbox.

This effect will be recreated in Dubai through Ireland’s Expo pavilion, which organisers hope will ‘inspire’ visitors to take a deeper interest in Ireland’s culture and history.

The pavilion was visualised by CGI consultants, 3D Design Bureau who produced architectural CGIs and animations of the display.

Ireland Unveils Pavilion for Expo 2020, Dubai
Ireland Unveils Pavilion for Expo 2020, Dubai

Ireland’s Expo 2020 Pavilion

Ireland’s single story pavilion is comprised of two interlinked structures, the Oculus and the Garden. The Oculus is the main structural space and consists of a circular room of 176m2 covered by a cone-shaped funnel with a view of the sky, inspired by the megalithic Newgrange.

The permanent exhibition will take place in the Oculus, where visitors will experience an ‘immersive experience, designed to be an emotive and impactful introduction to Ireland.’

The Garden is a multipurpose meeting, event and performance space, and will house most of the programme activities. This space is designed as a square within a square with an open roof and roofed internal perimeter – which the organisers hope will ‘bring life both the European cloister and the Arab garden.’

Ireland Unveils Pavilion for Expo 2020, Dubai

Ireland – Island of Inspiration

The theme for Expo 2020 Dubai is ‘Ireland – Island of Inspiration’. The organisers are inviting visitors to ‘Come to Ireland and Be Inspired’ and to present Ireland as an unrivalled place of inspiration, with a long and deeply rooted heritage of ingenuity, imagination and innovation.

The participation at Expo2020 will be threefold: the pavilion; the permanent exhibition; and a six-months long programme. Each of these elements will tell part of the story of 5000 years of Irish creativity and innovation, from Newgrange to the creative and innovative Ireland of today.

Co Meath’s Newgrange that dates back more than 5,000 years.
Co Meath’s Newgrange that dates back more than 5,000 years.

Expo 2020

Expo 2020 will take place in the Expo Village in the Dubai South district, on a site measuring more than half the size of Dublin’s Phoenix Park.  

The theme of Expo 2020 Dubai is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, with three sub-themes of sustainability, mobility and opportunity.

These themes will be reflected in the programme of events and activities that will take place across the Expo site during the six month programme.

Participating in Expo 2020 is a unique, unparalleled opportunity to promote Ireland to a global audience of 25 million visitors and to open the door to new contacts, new markets and new collaborations.