Dubai Expo 2022: All you need to know about India’s 4-storey pavilion

India's pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020 is a massive affair that spans across four floors over nearly one lakh square feet.

Dance and music programmes, food festivals, online workshops — these are some of the numerous events India has been hosting at its Dubai Expo 2020 pavilion since October 1. The expo, which kicked off with a star-studded opening ceremony, has seen participation of 190 countries.

India’s pavilion is a massive affair that spans across four floors, and over nearly one lakh square feet. Housed in Dubai’s sprawling Opportunity district, the building is made of sandstone around the broad theme of ‘Openness, Opportunity and Growth’. This is further split into 11 primary themes, including climate, urban development, inclusivity, health and wellness and food agriculture. The celebration of 75 years of India’s Independence is a key feature that is woven throughout the experience.

The lead designer of the pavilion is Delhi-based CP Kukreja Architects. They worked with Muse, a firm based in London, on the displays and interior exhibits. The pavilion is open from 10 am till 12 pm until March 31, 2022. Ticket prices range from Rs 2,000 for a single-day pass to Rs 38,000 for a premium experience.

Here are some salient features of the pavilion:

The facade

The striking, box-like facade is made of 600 individual blocks which use kinetic architecture to pay tribute to India’s journey as an independent nation. The rotating panels will exhibit 75 stories on India’s history and culture.

“During the day, the facade will create different moving patterns to celebrate 75 years of India’s Independence. Every week, these patterns will take the shape of three stories of the 25 sub-themes. Evenings will see the facade turn into a vibrant show with sound, light and projections,” explains a statement on the official website. Government campaigns like Make in India, Digital India, Skill India and Start-Up India will feature in these projections.

Dikshu Kukreja of CP Kukreja Architects said the exhibits, many of which are in digital format, will be replaced every few weeks. “Across these 26 weeks, at the pavilion, besides leading corporates from India, each state will also present its story,” he said.

What awaits inside?

Past the entrance, the visitors are welcomed into a tunnel that projects India’s space programmes. The country’s developments in the health sector, yoga, Ayurveda and alternate medicine system too find a mention. The top three floors focus on exploration of Indian culture, the country’s bilateral relationship with UAE and the corporate India’s ambitions.

Unlike previous years, the focus this year isn’t limited to crafts and heritage. Virtual reality pods, 3D augmented reality projected systems, LED surround projection and walk-in experience kiosks will be used to project India’s image as a fast-growing, modern economy.

Other programmes

Every day, the pavilion hosts a series of music and dance events from different parts of India. This includes Carnatic music session, Sikh kirtans, dandiya programmes, yoga sessions and musical dance dramas.

Additionally, it also hosts food festivals featuring cuisines from different parts of India. Seminars on climate change and biodiversity, movie screenings, start-up pitching sessions and panel discussions on various issues too have been planned. The updated schedule of the events is available at https://indiaexpo2020.com/schedule.

As in the previous editions, the Indian pavilion has piqued the interest of celebrities and leaders from around the world. Former president of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed and United States Commissioner General Bob Clark were early visitors to the pavilion.

Inaugurating the pavilion on October 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to India as a powerhouse of talent. He said the pavilion reflects the diverse nature of India. “India’s pavilion will showcase the best of India across these multiple areas. It will also showcase investment opportunities in multiple sectors like health, textiles, infrastructure, services and more,” the PM said.

The Dubai Expo 2020 is one of the largest events to be held in the Middle East and South Asian region following the coronavirus pandemic. PM Modi commented on this as well, saying: “I would also like to congratulate the Government of UAE for organising the Expo 2020 in a splendid way. This expo is also testimony to the resilience of mankind against the once-in-a-century pandemic.”

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