The Kingdom of Bahrain laid the foundation stone of its national pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai in an official ceremony on Sunday, 24 November, 2019, attended by Her Excellency Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) and Commissioner-General of the Bahrain Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, Mr. Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director, Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau and His Excellency Shaikh Khalid bin Abdullah bin Ali Al Khalifa Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United Arab Emirates.
HE Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa said: “Today we are one step closer to our participation in one of the largest and most important gatherings in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia that will be hosted here in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, a city renowned for its cultural activity and ability to bring people together.”
“Our participation in Expo 2020 Dubai is part of a strategic vision to grow the cultural footprint of the Kingdom of Bahrain at the global level, as per the directives of our wise leadership, led by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa,” HE Shaikha Mai added.
“We are delighted to lay the foundation stone of our national pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, which will serve as a gateway from which the world can discover the deep-rooted cultural assets and attributes of the Kingdom of Bahrain,” she added, going on to explain that the Bahrain Pavilion was designed to highlight the concept of ‘density’ and the role it plays in creating promising opportunity, as well as how its reflection of the structural, natural and urban characteristics of Bahrain.
“Over the years, the diverse and interlinked fabric of Bahraini society and how it is intertwined with its urban fabric has endowed the Kingdom with a uniqueness across the board, whether at the social, cultural or economic levels.
In essence, diversity has come to be a core and constant distinguishing trait that pushes sustainable development forward,” HE noted.
To present the concept of ‘density’ and how it contributes to creating promising opportunities, the 2,000-square-meter Bahrain Pavilion utilises ‘density’ as a variable to track how it helped shaped the distinctive features of Bahrain’s natural and urban composition and economic and cultural aspects over the millennia, from the ancient Dilmun Civilisation to modern day.
The Kingdom of Bahrain’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and the largest event ever held in the Arab region, serves as an opportunity to highlight the Arab world’s milestones and achievements, especially in light of Bahrain’s leading role within the regional cultural landscape. In line with Expo 2020 Dubai’s theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the Bahrain Pavilion offers a realistic approach to delve deep into the event’s sub-themes: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, from a density perspective.
Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to attract approximately 25 million visits over its six-month duration which runs from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, around 70% of visitors are expected to come from outside the UAE, offering the Kingdom of Bahrain ample opportunity to boost its presence globally.
Appointed to design the Bahrain Pavilion, Swiss architect Christian Keres is an acclaimed name in the architectural world and building-related research. He envisions the Pavilion as a path that enables one to explore the interrelationships between creativity, density, and opportunity. This idea is reflected in the design, which is a 24-metre high semi-cubic structure with 30-metre-by-30 metre open central viewing area supported by 126 11-centimetre thick columns. The design is currently being constructed on the Expo 2020 grounds in collaboration with the UAE’s WANDERS WERNER FALASI Consulting Architects.