The France Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will play a significant role in reviving the French economy, according to its Commissioner-General Erik Linquier…writes Lina Ibrahim
“In fact, [our participation in Expo 2020 Dubai] is part of the French government’s relaunch strategy to maintain a strong and visible presence globally,” Linquier, who is also the Chairman of COFREX, the French exhibition company in charge of organising French participation in international and universal exhibitions, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
“Our participation illustrates the relevance, determination, and desire of French companies to build a sustainable society for the collective future, with the France Pavilion being their platform to showcase their savoir-faire, talent, and innovation,” he added.
‘France, Lightspeed Inspiration’: a source of inspiration, knowledge and creativity
Under its theme of ‘Lightspeed Inspiration’, the pavilion embodies France’s vision and highlights its many successes in the shift towards innovative eco-friendly and user-oriented mobility solutions.
Light is also the architectural theme for the France Pavilion, which visitors can explore as a source of inspiration, knowledge and creativity, offering a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
Located in the Mobility District, the pavilion seeks to explore light as an enabler of progress, a vehicle for connections and a source of creativity. Designed as a link between France’s proud universal heritage and a more inclusive world for today, it offers solutions to build a more sustainable and more resilient world, in accordance with the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: a priority shared by France and UAE
“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals of UN’s 2030 Agenda are a priority shared by France and the UAE and are more than ever relevant in a post-pandemic context. France’s contribution to achieving these SDGs, including combatting climate change, is an objective of responsible development and economic growth, crucial in the post-COVID rebound,” said Linquier.
He highlighted that Expo 2020 Dubai represents an ideal opportunity for all French artists, entrepreneurs, academics, companies, start-ups, communities, and foundations to develop internationally, conquer new markets, and express their commitment to building a sustainable society for the collective future.
France designed its six-month presence at Expo 2020 Dubai around twelve themed fortnights, which are based on the 17 SDGs. The objective of these themed fortnights is to raise public awareness of major causes and challenges of tomorrow and to highlight French initiatives in terms of biodiversity, climate, peace, space, consumption, and others.
“The France Pavilion will show how climate and environmental interdependence on an international scale can be a tool for international cooperation and business development, while proposing concrete solutions. While France is committed to ensuring strong coherence between its national and international policies, Expo 2020 Dubai will provide a pioneering platform to highlight this,” said Linquier, adding that France is fully aligned to express its vision of environmental transformation and innovation to build a better tomorrow. “It is our ambition to showcase the values of daring, optimism, and collective sense.”
More than 600 French companies, startups, and SMEs operate in UAE
There are more than 600 French companies, startups, and SMEs operating in the UAE, and representing various French industries, innovations and services.
“France’s participation in Expo 2020 constitutes a new and valuable opportunity to continue strengthening these relations and elevating them to new heights. It will create further opportunities between the two countries to consolidate economic, commercial, academic, and cultural ties,” said Linquier.
Experience a cultural and artistic immersive journey
France’s boldness in art and technology is also strongly present in the visitors’ journey at Expo 2020 Dubai, which is organised into several spaces that aim to reinvent France’s present and create its future.
The promenade will be dressed in street furniture designed by Franco-Iranian artist Sepand Danesh, who has designed furniture and sculptures that symbolise universal attitudes and emotions such as reverie or contemplation. The promenade will also host an exhibition dedicated to innovative textiles developed by lille3000 and will display themed photography exhibitions.
In the introductory space, the Explorers will offer a list of the natural, cultural and human resources of French regions to make as many people as possible aware of their riches and fragility.
Dedicated to the notion of Redefining Progress, the permanent exhibition presents visitors with three staged spaces, each featuring a vision of progress. These visions echo the theme of the Pavilion (“Light, Enlightenment”), its geographical wing (“Mobility”) and the general Expo 2020 Dubai theme (“Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”).
Within the continuity of the permanent exhibition, visitors will be able to discover temporary exhibitions, renewed every month, with each one being dedicated to an artistic expertise: starting with digital art, tableware, kinetic art, architecture, and fashion.
Finally, art on display will give an identity to each of the France Pavilion’s Belvédère’s spaces throughout the whole duration of the event.
“We adapted our calendar of events to match Expo 2020’s new schedule and we optimised this extra time to pay even more attention to the visitor experience and programming,” said Linquier.
Expecting millions of visitors over a period of six months “The France Pavilion is historically one of the most visited pavilions during World Expos and we look forward to welcoming millions of visitors for the next six months,” said the pavilion’s Commissioner-General.
“We are working very closely with the organisers to provide a seamless experience, as we adhere to Expo 2020’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. The UAE’s response in face of the pandemic and their efforts in hosting [this mega event] are a testament of their resilience and dedication,” he concluded.