Dubai (dpa) – Not far from the Emirati desert, three colossal gates rise into the sky on the outskirts of Dubai. From a distance, they must look like gossamer latticework; up close, visitors might feel more reminded of portals to the next dimension. Made of dark carbon-fibre mesh, the 20 metre-high entrances to Expo 2020, which will take place from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, give a hint of how the first world exhibition in the Arab world wishes to present itself: big, unique and as a direct path to the technological achievements of tomorrow.
For six months, thousands are expected to flock daily to the site, which is the equivalent of 280 football fields. The organisers expect 25 million visitors by the end of March. The focus is on sustainability and new forms of mobility. One particular highlight is the pavilion of the hosts themselves, a spectacular building by Spanish star architect Santiago Calatrava. Like a “falcon in flight”, white wings drape over the roof, according to the Expo office of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The hydraulically retractable fins can be used to control solar radiation and shade on the building. Photovoltaic systems supply the electricity for the hydraulics and lighting. The German Pavilion, organised by Koelnmesse on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, aims to be an optimistic and forward-looking place for knowledge, research and encounters. The German participants expect around three million visitors over the six months of the Expo.