The ‘Vision Pavilion’ welcomed almost 200,000 visitors between 1st October 2021 and 31st March 2022.
The Vision Pavilion, celebrating the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, will continue to delight and enthral as part of the legacy of Expo 2020 Dubai.
The pavilion – one of the undeniable highlights of more than 200 pavilions across Expo 2020 Dubai’s vast site – welcomed almost 200,000 visitors between 1st October 2021 and 31st March 2022.
The pavilion is inspired by the book My Story: 50 Memories from 50 years of Service by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, whose vision has shaped Dubai, one of the world’s most dynamic and successful cities, and host of the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.
Over the course of the six month, the pavilion recorded a visitor satisfaction figure of 96 per cent, the highest across all of Expo 2020 Dubai’s pavilions, and received the award for Best Small Pavilion at Exhibitor Magazine’s World Expo Awards.
Marjan Faraidooni, Chief Experience Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said, “The Vision Pavilion tells a relatable human story: we all had childhood wonders; we all have passions and pastimes; we all have ambition and a vision. We are all shaped by our environment and have the power to change it, too – Sheikh Mohammed was shaped by his father and grandfather’s values and by Dubai, and, in turn, has shaped Dubai and continues to do so.
“The pavilion personified His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s unparalleled influence on a city that more than 200 nationalities today fondly call home. It is perfectly fitting that this window into the life of a man who shaped the future – much like Expo 2020 Dubai itself has strived to do – will continue to amaze and captivate visitors as part of Expo’s legacy.” During event-time, the pavilion was staffed by the highest percentage of Emirati workforce of any Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion, with 100 per cent of the hosting team comprising UAE Nationals, offering bilingual tours or tours in Arabic or English as standard for visitors.
The 27-strong hosting team included 24 Expo Generation Programme participants. The programme represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for UAE youth to gain experience in leading, operating and delivering a major global event, as part of Expo 2020 Dubai’s far-reaching legacy plans, preparing future generations and making a long-term contribution to the UAE and regional economy.
The modest size of the pavilion, at 360 square metres, coupled with the in-depth guided tour experience, meant that event-time capacities were strictly limited for tour groups, as part of Expo 2020 Dubai’s safe and responsible response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guided through a multisensory experience, visitors learn about Sheikh Mohammed’s childhood and passions, and the traditional Emirati values instilled in him by his father, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and his grandfather, the late Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, as well as the experiences that influenced his bold vision for Dubai and the UAE.
The Vision Pavilion’s façade was created from materials that illustrate His Highness’s passion for nature, and the magnificent city that rose from Dubai’s challenging natural environment – a symbol of hope for the world over.
The sands of the desert are symbolised by stone emerging from the ground in an attempt to cover the building, with visible carved lines that reflect Sheikh Mohammed’s future-focused plans to develop a regional port-city into a modern metropolis. The adjacent foamy aluminium resembles the waves of the Arabian Gulf breaking against the sands of Dubai’s shores.
Rising between the foamy aluminium and the stone, immaculate solid aluminium plates bind desert sand and sea, from which the city of Dubai is born. This key element is the representation of the fulfilment of Sheikh Mohammed’s vision: desert and sea working together and complementing one another to create a success story that reverberates in every corner of the globe.
The journey begins through a door replicating that of the home in Shindagha of Sheikh Mohammed’s grandfather. Arriving in the first gallery, A Place of Discovery and Learning, a room aptly fitted out with sandstone, visitors learn about the teachings of Sheikh Mohammed’s family, the tenets of the Bedouin lifestyle and traditions of the Bani Yas tribe. The walls transform into a large, black-and-white photo album, while a cinematic experience projects across three different graphic surfaces to tell the tale of Sheikh Mohammed’s trials and tribulations as a young child in the desert.
Next, a transition room titled “Exploring His Surroundings” reimagines Sheikh Mohammed’s special childhood room at Zabeel Palace – a physical manifestation of the first explorations and discoveries of youth. Alongside notebooks with reimagined drawings, visitors encounter man-made and natural objects collected and studied by Sheikh Mohammed’s as a child, ranging from insects and feathers to shells and toys.
Walking into Passions and Values, visitors are engulfed in grey sandstone, which rises from the ground into a striking 5.5-metre, 52-tonne sculpture replicating the neck and head of Dubai Millennium, HH Sheikh Mohammed’s most beloved racehorse.