The National Media Council (NMC), the government entity responsible for building and operating the UAE Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, has announced that Arabtec Construction, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arabtec Holding has been awarded the main contract to build the national pavilion. Arabtec Construction squared off against three local and international companies in the final round with nine companies bidding initially. Further, world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava has been chosen to design the pavilion, following a global design competition that saw nine of the top international architectural firms submit 11 designs centred on the concept of sustainability.
The design submissions were evaluated based on specific criteria including the extent to which they were successful in representing the main theme of Expo 2020 Dubai, 'Connect Minds, Creating the Future,' and their ability to reflect the UAE's heritage, while achieving a balance between the nation's past and future. Calatrava's winning design draws inspiration from a falcon in flight. The UAE pavilion will be one of the most important landmarks at the Expo 2020 Dubai, reflecting the authenticity and heritage of the UAE, its achievements in various sectors as well as the nation's values of openness, communication and tolerance, which are in line with the main theme of the exhibition. The UAE Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is strategically located opposite Al Wasl Plaza in the centre of the 4.38 square kilometre exhibition area. It will have several world-class features that offer guests and visitors a memorable and unique experience, as well as special showroom zones and VIP areas. The pavilion is set on an area of 15,000 sq metres with a total built-up area of 19,200 square metres. Construction will commence this month with completion scheduled for end-2019. The upper floor of the pavilion spans an area of 2,000 square metres while the mezzanine floor will have an area of 662 square metres. The ground floor, with gardens and parking spaces, sprawls over 13,300 sq metres. Another 3,000 sq metres will be set aside for a plaza level and related facilities. The UAE pavilion will form the main platform at Expo 2020 Dubai as the UAE is set to welcome nearly 25 million visitors from more than 180 countries, and the pavilion will be built and operated to the highest standards of sustainable construction, aiming to achieve the highest LEED rating.
Arabtec Construction is one of the leading national and regional construction companies, and has several major projects including Louvre Abu Dhabi, the expansion of Abu Dhabi Airport, and other landmark development projects in the UAE. Since the first participation of the UAE at the Plovdiv Expo in 1991, the National Media Council has been building and managing the national pavilion and developing an integrated vision for its participation in international expos to convey the true image of the UAE and enhancing its reputation in regional and international forums, in addition to promoting the achievements and innovations of the country in cultural, economic and social fields globally.
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