The pavilion

A symbol of the UAE’s bold and daring spirit

The UAE Pavilion immerses visitors in the history and future of this nation – from its origins to its thriving present to the dreamers shaping an even better tomorrow for all.

The architecture

The structure, which will sit at the heart of the nearly 500-acre exhibition area and whose design is inspired by a falcon in flight. It will be seen by the roughly 25 million visitors and participants who are expected to visit the Expo from October 2021 to April 2022.

More than a building

Inspired by the breathtaking nature of the UAE, the architecture of the pavilion is also a unique marvel. The falcon can spread the feathers of its wings to regulate the incoming sunlight depending on the time of day.


The Calatrava-designed UAE Pavilion is 15,000 square meters (over 161,000 square feet) and includes numerous exhibition areas, an auditorium, food and beverage outlets and VIP lounges. It is designed to meet LEED Platinum sustainable building standards.

Background story

Following a seven month design competition with submissions from the world’s leading architecture firms, the National Media Council of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) selected Santiago Calatrava’s proposal for the UAE Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo 2020.

The announcement was made after an intense design competition overseen by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, in its capacity as the Expo’s program manager. Nine of the world’s most celebrated architectural firms submitted 11 concepts; each design was evaluated on how it expressed the main theme of Expo 2020, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” whether it had a distinct UAE feel and if it struck an appropriate balance between the country’s past and future.

“The design of the pavilion is a symbol of the UAE’s bold and daring spirit, reflected in what is poised to be the most inclusive and global Expo in history.”

Santiago Calatrava

The architect

The Spanish star architect Santiago Calatrava is one of the most extraordinary engineers of our time. He originally wanted to become an artist, but was inspired by architects from the past and today creates breathtaking buildings that seem to come from the future.

Pavilion facts

  • The architect

    Santiago Calatrava

  • Construction period

    OCT 2020 – AUG 2021

  • Surface Area

    15.000 SQ M

  • Height

    64 M

  • Max Number of Visitors

    6000 PER DAY

  • Energy Efficiency

    Leed Platinum


All Acknowledgements

Architecture and exterior

All Acknowledgements

About the Exhibition

Discover the vision and history behind the exhibition. Learn about the brand principles according to which the concept of our immersive experience was developed.

Learn more about the exhibition