In 2018, Al Arabi won the task of designing and executing the jewel of the Dubai Expo 2020… the UAE Pavilion. To say that this pavilion is spectacular, is an understatement. And for us to design and execute the pavilion’s GRG ceiling and Jesmonite external cladding is the equivalent of a golden feather in our cap.
This honor was earned through our key client in Dubai – Depa Interiors who are familiar with Al-Arabi’s quality and adherence to strict parameters. Credit for the phenomenal concept of a falcon in flight, goes to the capable design and technical guidance of world-renowned Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava working with Arabtech, the contractor.
Working alongside such luminaries, Bahrain Al Arabi has more than risen to the demanding and challenging task of cladding the irregular shape of the ceilings. And, although work on the Dubai Expo has slowed down due to Covid-19, the expo itself is still on and merely postponed to 2021. Consequently, work on the UAE Pavilion, as well as others, is ongoing.
Our contribution is to clad the interior of the ceiling to reflect the movement of the falcon’s wings. Outside, once the pavilion is completed, the falcon’s wings will actually open and close like the bird in flight. On the interior, the ceiling has an oculus skylight, which represents the emblem of the Dubai 2020 Expo. The expo logo is embossed in the ceiling and it will be formed into the falcon’s body.
This elaborate and complex work required the creation of silicon molds for the project. Al Arabi had all the silicon and original molds manufactured in Bahrain. The process needed around 25 people working solidly for 8 months to create them. The molds were then shipped to Dubai, where we put 30 of our people on the job to cast all the materials. This process took 7 months. The erection of the ceiling is a highly precise and carefully orchestrated undertaking. What began in April 2020 is due to be completed by November 15th, 2020. When complete, this pavilion, which spans 20K sqm will, we believe, be the piece de resistance of the Dubai Expo.
Al Arabi is proud to have contributed to this stunning expression of Santiago Calatrava’s vision whose design, inspired by a falcon in flight, symbolises the UAE’s bold and daring spirit. The pavilion, set in the heart of the expo, will be seen by an estimated 25 million visitors and participants.