Australia laid the foundation stone for its pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on 12 November, signalling progress in works at the site.

Based on the theme ‘Blue Sky Dreaming’, the pavilion will be located in the Mobility district and will celebrate the island continent’s “indigenous connection to land, sky and sea and encapsulates the idea of blue sky thinking”.

Australia’s Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is responsible for executing the participation at expo. The groundbreaking ceremony for the pavilion previously took place on 15 July 2019.

While UK’s Turner & Townsend is the design consultant for the project, Dubai-based ASGC’s subsidiary Al-Shafar Interiors (ASI) was announced as the main contractor in October 2019 and will oversee the design, build, fit-out, exhibition and content for the project.

ASI has also been awarded the design and build contract for the Ukraine pavilion, and will undertake MEP works for the Azerbaijan pavilion for which ASGC is the main contractor.

Meanwhile, Australian firms Accolade and Jacqui Bonner Marketing + Management will curate the visitor experience and cultural programme respectively for the Australian pavilion.

Aussie presence at expo

A number of Australian companies have bagged contracts at Expo 2020. Global architecture and consulting firm Woods Bagot is the design consultant for the Dubai Exhibition Centre, while Cox Architecture has designed the Opportunity pavilion that will serve as the anchor point for the Opportunity district at the event.

Melbourne-based staff technology specialist Rosterfy will recruit, screen, train and schedule the entire workforce journey of nearly 30,000 volunteers and staff at the expo. Meanwhile, professional consultancy firm GHD will oversee the design and construction of five emergency services posts,

Additionally, three Australian companies, AgUnity, Conpago and My Disability Matters, were shortlisted as finalists for the 4th round of the Expo Live programme.