Swiss Pavilion's great success at Expo 2020 Dubai

Bern, 01.04.2022 - Presence Switzerland is pleased with the Swiss Pavilion's performance at the World Expo in Dubai. Switzerland successfully showcased itself as a leading innovation hub. During the expo's six months, the pavilion attracted 1.7 million visitors, regularly came out on top in rankings, and won 3 prizes. Through 150 events, over 50 Swiss companies and 20 higher education institutions and other institutional partners used the platform to promote and deepen exchange with Switzerland's largest trading partner in the Middle East.

Expo 2020 Dubai closed its doors at the end of March. With 1.7 million visitors, the Swiss Pavilion was one of the most popular and most visited pavilions in Dubai. It drew a very international crowd of some 100 different nationalities, half of whom were residents of the United Arab Emirates.

A survey conducted at the pavilion among visitors showed that it made a good or very good impression on the vast majority of them, impacting their perception of Switzerland positively, particularly as regards innovation, tourism, awareness of sustainability-related responsibilities, and Swiss products.

Strengthening bilateral relations

The Swiss Pavilion also had the honour of welcoming distinguished visitors. Switzerland's federal government and its embassy to the United Arab Emirates used the pavilion to pay tribute to the diplomatic relations between the UAE and Switzerland. In total, 987 official delegations visited the Swiss Pavilion, including 810 members of the royal families, 335 UAE government representatives, 90 prime ministers, ministers and governors from various countries, and 80 CEOs of major Swiss and European companies.

On the occasion of Switzerland's National Day on 29 October 2021, the then President of the Swiss Confederation Guy Parmelin was received. As part of Swiss Finance Day, Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer visited the Swiss Pavilion on 23 March 2022 with a high-ranking delegation from the Swiss financial sector.

Exchange and new collaborations

The Swiss Pavilion regularly garnered top spots in various rankings. The greatest attraction was the nature show featuring an artistically designed mountain panorama that was revealed when visitors emerged from a sea of fog. In collaboration with Switzerland Tourism, the show's panorama depicted selected tourist destinations. With over 150 events, the Swiss Pavilion was also an important platform at Expo 2020 Dubai for dialoguing with regional actors in the spheres of business, science and politics and for further deepening relations with Switzerland's largest trading partner in the Middle East. Over 50 Swiss companies used the pavilion for their own events and networking.

In cooperation with the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), Swissnex organised 40 events at which Swiss higher education institutions and research institutes, companies and start-ups took the opportunity to showcase their innovations and forge new ties between ERI stakeholders from Switzerland, the UAE and the Middle East.

Positive echo and awards

"The Swiss Pavilion with its giant red carpet and made-in-Switzerland fog was one of the stars of the World Expo in Dubai. We had bet that putting on a spectacular show would draw attention to Switzerland and its power of innovation, and we won the bet!" says Ambassador Nicolas Bideau, the head of Presence Switzerland.

The Swiss showing and its content also received very positive coverage in numerous local news items. The Swiss Pavilion, designed by the Zurich architects OOS, the scenography agency Bellprat, and Lorenz Eugster Landscaping, was awarded three prizes: Exhibitor Magazine's World Expo Award for Best Medium Pavilion and the A2 Certificate & Veneration and Innovative Achievement Memorial Icon in 2A Magazine. Lastly, it was crowned with a distinction for its architecture and landscaping by the committee of experts of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE).

Osaka (Japan) will host the next world exhibition from 13 April to 13 October 2025. On 12 May 2021, the Federal Council decided that Switzerland would take part in the Expo 2025 in Osaka.

Address for enquiries

FDFA Communication
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Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55
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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs