Dance and music events, food festivals, online workshops – these are just a few of the many events that India is hosting at its Dubai Expo 2020 pavilion from October 1. The expo, which began on October 1. star-studded opening ceremonyhas seen participation from 190 countries.
The Pavilion of India is a huge event which is spread over four floors and about one lakh square feet. Located in Dubai’s sprawling Opportunity District, the building is built of sandstone around the overarching theme of ‘Openness, Opportunity and Growth’. It is further divided into 11 primary themes, which include climate, urban development, inclusivity, health and wellness, and food agriculture. The celebration of 75 years of India’s independence is a major feature that has been woven throughout the experience.
The principal designer of the pavilion is Delhi-based CP Kukreja Architects. He worked on exhibits and interior exhibits with the Museum, a firm based in London. The pavilion remains open from 10 am to 12 noon till March 31, 2022. Ticket prices range from Rs 2,000 for a day pass to Rs 38,000 for a premium experience.
Here are some of the salient features of the mandap:
The striking, box-like façade is made up of 600 separate blocks that use kinetic architecture to pay tribute to India’s journey as an independent nation. The rotating panels will display 75 stories on the history and culture of India.
“During the day, the mask will make different moving patterns to celebrate the 75 years of India’s independence. Each week, these patterns will take the form of three stories with 25 sub-themes. In the evening the front part will turn into a live show with sound, light and projections,” states a statement on the official website. These projections will include government campaigns such as Make in India, Digital India, Skill India and Start-up India.
Dikshu Kukreja of CP Kukreja Architects said the exhibitions, many of which are in digital format, will be replaced every few weeks. “In these 26 weeks, apart from India’s leading corporates, each state will also present its story in the pavilion,” he said.
What awaits inside?
Before the entrance, visitors are welcomed into a tunnel that projects India’s space programmes. There is also mention of the country’s development in the health sector, Yoga, Ayurveda and alternative medicine systems. The top three floors focus on the exploration of Indian culture, the country’s bilateral relations with the UAE and the ambitions of Corporate India.
Unlike previous years, this year the focus is not limited to crafts and heritage. Virtual reality pods, 3D augmented reality projected systems, LED surround projection and walk-in experience kiosks will be used to project India’s image as a rapidly growing, modern economy.
Every day, the pavilion hosts a series of music and dance shows from different parts of India. It includes Carnatic music sessions, Sikh Kirtans, Dandiya programmes, Yoga sessions and Sangeet dance plays.
— India at Expo 2020 (@IndiaExpo2020) October 9, 2021
Additionally, it also organizes food festivals featuring cuisines from different parts of India. Seminars, film screenings, start-up pitching sessions and panel discussions on various issues are also planned on climate change and biodiversity. Updated schedule of events is available here https://indiaexpo2020.com/schedule.
Like the previous editions, the Indian Pavilion has piqued the interest of celebrities and leaders from across the world. Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed and United States Commissioner General Bob Clarke were early visitors to the pavilion.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating the pavilion on October 1 India is called a powerhouse of talent. He said that the pavilion reflects the diverse nature of India. “India’s pavilion will showcase India’s best in many of these areas. It will also showcase investment opportunities in multiple sectors like health, textiles, infrastructure, services and more,” the PM said.
Dubai Expo 2020 is one of the biggest events to be held in the Middle East and South Asian region coronavirus global pandemic. Commenting on the same, PM Modi said: “I would also like to congratulate the UAE Government for organizing the Expo 2020 in a grand manner. This expo is also a testament to the resilience of mankind against the once in a century pandemic.”