Expo pavilion proclaims 'Mission Possible'

07 April 2021
In an exclusive with MEED, Opportunity pavilion director Anoosha al-Marzouqi highlights key messages from the anchor pavilion

More from Expo 2020:

The Opportunity Pavilion, designed by Kuwait and Madrid-based AGi Architects, represents one of Dubai Expo 2020's three key themes.

Through an interactive exhibition experience, the pavilion will show how each and every one of us has the opportunity to contribute, how small steps can lead to big changes, and how unlocking opportunity at a local level can be used for the greater global good.

Visitors to the pavilion are guided through three ‘tracks’ that focus on water, food and energy – three resources chosen because they are basic human needs and essential for progress.

Each track is brought to life by expert guides from diverse backgrounds and nationalities, whose innovative projects in their community – simple solutions that have required little resources or investment – have had a life-changing impact.

Members of their communities share stories of how, thanks to these ideas, their lives have been transformed – through improvements that go beyond access to water, food and energy.

Pavilion design

The concept of opportunity is also reflected in the architecture of the pavilion. It has been conceived as a large plaza, building on the long history, from ancient Greece and Rome through to the present day, of using public spaces to bring communities together to create and debate.

This links to Expo 2020’s overarching theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,’ and the premise of enabling people to come together. 

Two other elements are highlighted in the pavilion’s design: terracotta and mesh.

Terracotta is used throughout the pavilion’s floor and facade to represent the Earth and emphasise human activity and interaction.

Floating 32 metres above the ground, the pavilion’s mesh canopy represents clouds and the dreams of the better future to which we all aspire.

It is within Expo 2020’s Mission Possible – the Opportunity Pavilion – that the UN's sustainable development goals will be brought to life

UN goals

Standing alongside the expo's two other subthemes, mobility and sustainability, the event's opportunity theme aims to examine how the potential of communities and individuals can be unlocked to help shape the future and create an equal playing field for everyone.

It encapsulates the belief that every action has an effect, not only in our own communities, but across the world. The opportunity subtheme is also closely aligned with the objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet.

The 17 SDGs, already at the heart of the UAE’s strategic vision, underpin the expo’s activities and goals before, during and after the six-month event. They cut across the expo in all manner of ways, from spotlighting how countries are placing sustainable development at the core of their strategies, to actively engaging, informing and inspiring millions of citizens to make a conscious difference.

It is within Expo 2020’s Mission Possible – the Opportunity Pavilion – that the SDGs will be brought to life for visitors.

Illustrating the Opportunity Pavilion’s message that small actions can have a huge ripple effect, the guides and their communities will lead by example, inspiring us all to act and do things differently, or at least be more aware of our choices as we go about our daily lives.

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