Austrian Commissioner General Beatrix Karl on how the Expo 2020 will affect the local market and design industry in UAE

The United Arab Emirates has been growing to become a centre for business opportunities as well as a trendsetter in many industries over the past number of years. Year-on-year, Dubai has become a touristic hub that it doesn’t come as a surprise that the World Expo takes place in this booming city in 2020. Unrivalled in its magnitude, Expo 2020 is bringing millions of visitors from the world over to catalyse change for a brighter future. Not only will Expo 2020 Dubai enable the UAE to enjoy an influx of tourists from all nations and industries, but it also warrants the creation of new jobs, counting on an economic boost of AED122.6bn from a six-month event. This mega opportunity will foster UAE’s position on the international map of setting standards for an inclusive, tolerant and cosmopolitan community. It will also propel a disruptive change for SMEs in Dubai; a core component of the UAE economy, not to mention that the pre-Expo phase alone will be supporting up to 12,600 job-years.

Austrian Commissioner General Beatrix Karl

It is expected that more creative businesses will be making Dubai their home thanks to the changes the UAE has made in allowing 100 per cent foreign ownership in certain sectors and reducing fees and penalties. This will create a more diverse and resilient economy that fosters innovative and sustainable solutions to our planet’s problems. As we are a few months away from the start of the Expo 2020 Dubai, we are already seeing how the design industry has become more creative than ever. Many countries are putting their best foot forward and connecting with their best architects, product and interior designers for sustainable and green pavilions.

Over the years, the design has evolved to become a powerful tool for change, as opposed to stylish aesthetics. Living up to the spirit of the Expo 2020 Dubai theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, the Austrian pavilion brings together the best Arab and Austrian practices and innovative construction methods into an intelligent, resource-efficient architecture. Austria will introduce an unusual concept: 38 interlocking cones blending on a 2,400sqm pavilion to form a harmonious structure. The cones are between six and 15m high, cut off at the top and plastered with clay on the inside. Using the world’s oldest building material and an intelligent ventilation concept with wind towers, the Austrian Pavilion will naturally provide a comfortable atmosphere, thanks to the creative realisation of querkraft architects. A total of 100 Austrian companies will be present at Expo 2020 Dubai for the design and construction of the Austrian pavilion and in its dedicated exhibition, the iLab. Expo 2020 Dubai will be an event of imaginative installations and never-before seen exhibits. The power of design will touch on all verticals of F&B, hospitality, leisure and public space, blending functionality with material and craftsmanship. This is the time for design companies to take advantage of the new business opportunities being made available to them, especially for the interiors and fit-out sectors to showcase their innovative technologies and functional ideas