Dubai World Expo: Swiss Pavilion completed

Bern, 30.03.2021 - Switzerland has just completed the construction of its pavilion at Dubai World Expo. This is the final stretch before the opening of one of this year's most anticipated events, on 1 October 2021, under the theme 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.' The expo will provide a platform for exchange to more than 190 participating countries. It will position Switzerland and promote its economy in the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland's most important trading partner in the MENA region.

The laying of the foundation stone took place at the end of 2019, and now the construction of the Swiss pavilion is complete. This cubic structure of about 2000 m2 in the Emirati desert has been handed over to Presence Switzerland, which will be responsible for running it during the expo. "Our little piece of Switzerland at the expo is ready for a big show in Dubai. In these difficult times for our export economy, our pavilion aims to be a symbol and driving force for the recovery we all need," says Ambassador Nicolas Bideau, head of Presence Switzerland.

Dubai will be the first world expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa or South Asia and to be hosted by an Arab country. In line with the Federal Council's new Strategy for the entire Middle East and North Africa 2021–24, the Swiss pavilion will be a place of dialogue, where representatives of government, business, science and civil society can come together. The platform will allow for exchanges on topics such as health, climate change and digitalisation.

A rich and varied experience
The Swiss pavilion in Dubai will immerse visitors in a story of Switzerland. It will start with a sea of fog inspired by the cloud of Expo 02 in Yverdon. This fog will give way to a sound and light show reproducing the passage of day to night over the Swiss Alps. Visitors will then enter a model of a hyperconnected Swiss city, a symbol of the digitalisation of our country.

The last part of the tour will consist of a series of exhibitions on Swiss innovation, produced in collaboration with the academic world and the Swiss start-up ecosystem. At the end of the visit, a cup of Swiss coffee will be offered, along with a piece of chocolate.

Switzerland's National Day will be held on 29 October 2021 and will be attended by an official delegation, led by President of the Swiss Confederation Guy Parmelin. Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis will travel to Dubai in February 2022 to inaugurate an exhibition on the theme of water diplomacy.

Public-private partnership model
The Swiss pavilion was designed by the Zurich agencies OOS (architecture), Bellprat Partner (scenography), Lorenz Eugster (landscape architecture) and built by Expomobilia of Basel. The building incorporates sustainable construction practices, such as the use of scaffolding and textiles made from sustainable products and the use of recycled concrete.

The Swiss pavilion is based on a public-private partnership model: Schindler, Rolex SA, Switzerland Tourism, Clariant, Novartis, Nestlé Middle East and North Africa, Roche, KGS Diamond Group Ltd. as well as other Swiss suppliers are integral to the project. The total cost of the project is CHF 16,5 million.

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs