Australia’s natural wonder, innovative know-how and fascinating 60,000-year-old cultural history and diversity will be on the world’s stage alongside 191 participating nations at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Australian Pavilion will showcase key trade, economic, export and education opportunities while celebrating the nation’s highly unique natural and cultural attractions, from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.

Justin McGowan, Australia’s Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said the Expo represents an exciting opportunity for Australia to play a leading role at what is being referred to as the ‘global business Olympics’.

“Expo 2020 Dubai is an unmissable opportunity for Australia to build on existing relationships and identify new trade and investment opportunities. Global collaboration is integral to the world’s economic and social recovery. With 191 nations participating, Expo 2020 Dubai offers a gateway not only to the Middle East but to the whole world,” Mr McGowan said.

Australian companies have already secured over A$170 million worth of Expo related contracts. To support additional business opportunities, the Australian Trade & Investment Commission, in collaboration with Australian states and territories, industry bodies, research institutions, and partner nations are delivering an extensive trade and investment program across priority sectors – Education, Food & Agribusiness, Water, Sport, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Mining & Resources, Space, and Digital Technology.

“Throughout the six-month-long event, the best of Australia will be on show to the world. We will be showcasing the strength of our economy and world-class capabilities through a combination of in-person and virtual events.

The first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, Expo 2020 Dubai will bring together nations, communities and millions of visitors in the spirit of hope and collaboration, for a six-month celebration of creativity, innovation and human progress.

“Australia is proud to be participating in Expo 2020 Dubai. The United Arab Emirates is one of Australia’s most important and long-standing trade and investment partners with annual trade links valued at A$ 9.8 billion per year. Approximately 15,000 Australians live in the UAE and 250 of our companies operate here. As a nation, we are excited to be able to join our Emirati friends for this significant global event,” Mr McGowan said.

Alongside its trade program, the Australian Pavilion will offer an outstanding visitor experience and is expected to be one of Expo 2020 Dubai’s must-see pavilions. The pavilion’s theme of Blue Sky Dreaming celebrates Australia’s spirit of innovation and its history as one of the world’s oldest continuous civilisations, highlighting the nation’s infinite opportunities.

The Australian Pavilion is in the Mobility District, directly opposite Alif, Expo 2020’s Mobility Pavilion. Standing 21 metres tall, the Australian Pavilion will be among the largest at Expo 2020 Dubai and will offer an immersive and exciting exhibition experience.

Meaningful art touches all aspects of the pavilion, helping to relay the story of Australia’s vibrant and long-lived culture. Visitors go through three distinct sections – the Welcome Stories tunnel, the Star Dreaming planetarium-style experience and an immersive storytelling exhibition space dubbed Annika’s Journey- before reaching the open forecourt where visitors can come together to dine, reflect, and celebrate true Australian culture and hospitality.

“In developing the design for the Australian Pavilion, we wanted a venue that captured not only the Blue Sky Dreaming theme, but the welcoming spirit and relaxed, multicultural society for which Australia is renowned,” Mr McGowan said.

“Brisbane-based architectural team bureau^proberts has designed a space which embodies the Australian spirit and persona; relaxed and laid back, yet dynamic, lively and courageous. The Australian Pavilion will be a place of gathering where everyone is welcome and will leave feeling inspired, having experienced a taste of what Australia has to offer the world.”

A key element of the design of the Australian Pavilion is its roof, a gleaming white canopy inspired by the large fluffy white cumulus clouds that make up Australia’s iconic big blue skylines.

“The large white cumulus cloud is a common feature of Australia’s expansive horizons and is a clear and a recognisable sign of good weather,” Mr McGowan said.

“Agile and ever-changing, visitors to the Australian Pavilion will find the cloud central to their pavilion journey. By day, it provides cooling shade over the forecourt. At night, it comes alive with a dynamic display of light and sound designed to mimic the ancient and rugged landscape of Australia.

“We are confident that the combination of the building and the breadth of the visitor experience will ensure that the Australian Pavilion is one of the highlights of Expo 2020 Dubai and a powerful representation of Australia on the world stage that we can all be proud of.”

The Australian Pavilion enjoys strong support from the Commonwealth Government, along with all Australian states and territories and leading public and private sector organisations. The Victorian Government is a platinum partner, with major partners including the New South Wales Government and The Hermal Group, a diverse enterprise comprising several business interests and investments.

“Presenting an event on this scale is a truly collaborative undertaking. We are proud to be joined at Expo 2020 Dubai by all of Australia’s state and territory governments, as well as our many public and private sector partners,” Mr. McGowan said.

“Together, we can ensure that Expo 2020 Dubai is both an economic and cultural success for our nation.”