Dubai: The last tree garden — an acacia arabica — was planted on the promenade of the France Pavilion on Thursday to mark the completion of the construction of the pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The event was attended by Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau, and Franck Riester, French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, who were welcomed by Erik Linquier, Commissioner General for France at Expo 2020 Dubai and Chairman of Cofrex (Compagnie Française des Expositions).
According to the organisers, the French Pavilion is set to unveil its visitors’ journey on April 26, ahead of the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai on October 1.
One of the highlights of the French Pavilion is its esplanade promenade which was designed as a flânerie (lounge) and relaxation space for visitors, adorned with endemic trees.
The groundbreaking of the pavilion was done in May last year in the presence of Elisabeth Borne, former French Minister of Transports. The architects were Jean-Luc Perez and Bernard Mauplot (Atelier du Prado Architectes) and Jacob Celnikier and Pascal Grabli (Celnikier & Grabli Architectes).
Also in attendance at the inauguration on Thursday were Amélia Lakrafi, Member of Parliament (French National Assembly) and President of the France-Emirates Friendship Group at the French National Assembly; Xavier Chatel, French Ambassador to the UAE, and French Consul General Raja Rabia.
First in the Arab world
Expo 2020 Dubai will run from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. It is the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, and the first to be hosted by an Arab nation.
Earlier Al Hashimy said: “Hosting the first World Expo in the region embodies the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for the country to become a global hub for enlightenment, creativity, innovation and human coexistence.”
“We are now mere months away from welcoming the world and launching a platform for collaboration, when it is needed most. Drawing on the UAE’s spirit of hope and optimism, we will work with our partners to deliver real-life solutions to real-life challenges. Expo 2020 will contribute to the UAE leadership’s strategy, reinforcing the nation’s standing as one that pushes boundaries and achieves things others felt were impossible,” she added.