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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, visited UAE pavilion as he toured the venue of Expo 2020, which began in Dubai today.

Dubai: The UAE Pavilion — shaped in the form of falcon wings — has officially opened its doors to welcome Expo 2020 Dubai visitors on Friday.

Gulf News was one of the first visitors at the UAE Pavilion which spans 15,000 square metres and is the largest pavilion among the 192 participating countries.

Appreciating the beauty of the pavilion starts from the outside, where one can see the movable wings that make up the structure’s roof. The falcon is the UAE’s national bird and it is only appropriate that the pavilion is shaped in the from of this powerful bird to symbolise the nation’s strength and heritage.

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Visitors take a tour of UAE pavilion on the opening day of Expo 2020. Photo: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Located in the Opportunity District, next to the iconic Al Wasl Dome, the pavilion exterior is made of hydraulic wings that move depending on the direction of the sun. This mechanism allows the interior to be protected from the heat of the sun. It is good to note that photovoltaic (PV) panels were installed on the roof structure to light up the entire building and become the source energy for the opening of the wings.

From harnessing the power of the sun, the next element one will see upon entering the pavilion is the ubiquitous sand. The sand is a symbol of the Bedouin life as well as the UAE’s humble beginnings and resilience.

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The UAE pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai on the opening day for visitors. The falcon, known for its agility, strength and courage, is a cultural symbol in the UAE that signifies the vitality of the nation and the importance of falconry in UAE tradition. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Visitors will then pass by designed spaces, where there are multisensory experiences as well as integrated cinematic features showcasing the UAE’s heritage and tradition. There is also an auditorium for an audiovisual featuring pearl diving culture. But it’s not just an ordinary show as the seats are actually a lifting platform that brings up the audience — as the show progresses — from the ground floor to the next level, where another audiovisual show awaits.

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A view of the UAE Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News