State Department Reveals Plans-Partners for U.S. Pavilion at Expo 2020


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This week, the U.S. Department of State partnered with AmCham Dubai, AmCham Abu Dhabi, and the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council to reveal to American companies plans for content and opportunities for partnership at the U.S. Pavilion at Expo 2020.

During events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E. John Rakolta and U.S. Consul General in Dubai Philip Frayne both delivered remarks underlining how the success of the U.S. pavilion hinges on the participation of American companies.

Senior officials from Expo 2020 gave an update on the overall program and opportunities for American companies to participate across the six months of the Expo 2020 show. (see below for additional details.)

Then, senior officials from the U.S. Department of State and newly announced U.S. partners then elaborated on their plans for the U.S. Pavilion and how American companies can potentially participate in the design, content, and programming of the pavilion. (see below for additional details.)

Officials present also recognized PepsiCo for its steadfast and early financial support of the U.S. Pavilion as its official beverage partner.

The presentations were each attended by almost 100 executives from leading U.S. companies from a variety of different business verticals. The events provided an opportunity for business leaders to learn more about how their companies might be able to showcase American creativity and innovation throughout the pavilion at Expo 2020.

A video produced by the U.S. Department of State and depicting the U.S. role in Expos can be found here.

The U.S. Pavilion at Expo 2020 will showcase best-in-class American ingenuity and thought leadership to the world. In 2017, the U.S. State Department created an Expo Unit to oversee the engagement and participation of the United States in international exhibitions.

The presence of a U.S. pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is made possible thanks to the generosity of the U.A.E. government. By law, the U.S. Department of State is not permitted to use public funds for international expositions.

The State Department will partner with many organizations and companies to produce the U.S. Pavilion, but has contracted with two key organizations to help build, outfit, and run it:

  • The Thinkwell Group, an international experience design and production agency, will be working on the content for the U.S. Pavilion.
  • Global Ties U.S. and the Meridian International Center, non-profit public diplomacy organizations, will be focusing on the scheduling and event program for the U.S. Pavilion.

Please click here to read the official press release of the U.S. State Department regarding the U.S.’ participation at Expo 2020 Dubai and here for the press release regarding new U.S. partners.

The U.S. Pavilion at Expo 2020 will be curated so as to depict the unique role that American democracy has played in global innovation. America has always been a leader in this area and the experiential design of the U.S. pavilion will help audiences better understand the linkages between American values and progress. The U.S. Pavilion will be organized to take visitors on a journey on a giant “travalator” that will traverse much of the Pavilion exhibit space. Key exhibit areas are being planned as follows:

  • Hall One: The History of American Democracy
  • Hall Two: History of innovation in the U.S. and its global impact.
  • Hall Three: Impact of American innovation on the MENA region.
  • Hall Four: What’s next with regard to technology development and innovation in the near future?
  • Hall Five: Will showcase America’s natural beauty, our national Parks, and monumments.
  • Hall Six: Will showcase and promote travel and tourism in the U.S. market.
  • Hall Seven: Will provide VIP Space, as well as event space for various activities.
  • “Hall Eight:” Details will eventually be revealed about exterior space that can be used for events and trade promotion.

Further details on programing and activities at the U.S. Pavilion will be supplied in future updates. As well, organizers have begun providing details with regard to the recruitment of Youth Ambassadors. Global Ties U.S. will soon make these details available.

Finally, the U.S. Commercial Service and U.S. Commercial team in the U.A.E. provided the audience details on how Discover America and Trade Winds will be utilized help drive American corporate participation at the U.S. Pavilion.

Background on Expo 2020 Dubai

Organized every five years, the World Expo (formerly the World’s Fair) is a global destination for millions of people to share ideas, showcase innovation, encourage collaboration, and celebrate human ingenuity.

In November of 2013, the general assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the governing body for world exhibitions, awarded Dubai as the 2020 host.

The 2020 World Exposition will take place in Dubai from October 20th 2020 to April 10th 2021. Expo 2020 Dubai intends to highlight the U.A.E.’s national Golden Jubilee by underscoring the country’s leading role as a global hub for commerce, culture, and diplomacy in the 21st century.

The six-month long event will be the first World Exposition to ever be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and is expected to draw 25 million visitors, the vast majority of whom will come from outside the U.A.E.

The event’s theme is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, and the three subthemes will each have a dedicated pavilion:

  • Opportunity: Making meaningful contributions to global development.
  • Mobility: Discovering new ways of moving goods and people.
  • Sustainability: Exploring the potential for buildings to be self-sustaining in water and energy.

The mega-event will include corporate and country pavilions that feature interactive exhibits, live entertainment, cultural experiences, networking events and VIP receptions, and restaurants.

Moreover, Expo will also feature the “World Majlis,” an inclusive discussion platform bringing leaders and citizens together to have conversations about pressing global issues.

Partners of Expo 2020 Dubai include Accenture, Cisco, DP World, Emirates, Mastercard, and PepsiCo.

According to professional services firm EY, the event will provide an economic boost to the U.A.E. economy worth $33.4 billion through 2031. Additionally, Expo 2020 Dubai is also expected to generate as many as 49,700 full-time jobs per annum in the U.A.E. between 2013 and 2031.
Thematic Focus Weeks at Expo 2020 Dubai

*October 20, 2020: Expo 2020 Dubai begins

November 1-7, 2020: Climate Focus

November 22-28, 2020: Urban Development and Climate Focus

December 1-7, 2020: Travel & Exploration Focus

January 8-14, 2021: Sustainable Development Goals Focus (Last Mile Distribution, Livelihood & Enterprise Development, Women and Girls)

January 22-28, 2021: Health and Wellness Focus

February 1-7, 2021: Innovation Focus

February 22-28, 2021: Agriculture and Livelihood Development Focus

March 8-14, 2021: Women & Girls Focus

March 22-28, 2021: Water Focus

*April 10, 2021: Expo 2020 Dubai ends

The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council and Expo 2020 Dubai

The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council has championed Expo 2020 Dubai since Dubai first announced its intention in 2011 to bid on Expo 2020. The Business Council, its Board of Directors, and its member companies have been and continue to be vocal supporters of this important project, having worked tirelessly to build awareness and garner support for the World Expo to be hosted in Dubai.

The Business Council encourages its member companies and partners to engage to the widest extent possible in this important opportunity. And, it looks forward to continuing to work with its U.S. Government, U.A.E. Government, and many other partners in making the U.S. Pavilion a success and Expo 2020 the “biggest show on earth.”

Please click here to read an article about the U.S.’ participation at Expo 2020 Dubai featuring comments by U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council President Danny Sebright.