Countdown begins for DMU to take its research and innovation to the world

The countdown has begun! Work has officially started on the UK Pavilion in Dubai where De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) will represent British higher education at the world’s largest ever trade, culture and technology fair.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP broke the ground officially marking the beginning of construction of the stunning building for Expo 2020 that will promote the UK as a world-class destination for trade, investment, education and tourism.

DUBAI 2020 pavilion

An image of what the stunning UK Pavilion will look like

DMU was announced as a founding partner for the UK Pavilion in Dubai in November last year and is currently working with academics to ensure the best of teaching and research at DMU is shown to the rest of the world.

The university will also be creating opportunities for a number of students to visit Dubai before and during the exhibition, through the award-winning #DMUglobal scheme, as well as ensuring a legacy for students for years to come.

Expo 2020 will be staged over six months from October 2020 to April 2021 and is the first World Expo to be hosted by an Arab nation.

The event will host 192 nations and is expected to attract more than 25 million visits, including international tourists, students and business leaders.

Expo’s theme is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, with a focus on education and nurturing talent. The UK Pavilion will focus on ‘Innovating for a Shared Future’.

DUBAI 2020 main

The Right Hon Liam Fox MP breaks the ground in Dubai

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau, said: “The UAE and the UK have long enjoyed a robust, mutually-beneficial relationship that will continue to thrive as we forge partnerships across all sectors, from trade and tourism to art, technology and education.

“Expo 2020 Dubai will provide a strong platform to expand those partnerships, and we congratulate the UK as it begins the construction of this dramatic, artistic, AI-inspired pavilion.”

Simon Bradbury, PVC Dean of the Faculty of Arts Design and Humanities was in Dubai to meet with international leaders at the ceremony.

He said: “This ground breaking ceremony is a landmark moment for DMU’s involvement in Expo 2020. The countdown has begun and we will now be looking to speak to students and staff to push forward a shared vision that will show the millions of visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai how our university's students and academics have the vision to meet the global challenges we face.

“Having DMU as a Founding Partner for Expo 2020 is something everyone in the university can be proud of.”

DUBAI 2020 pavilion 2

An artist's impression of the UK Pavilion at night

The UK Pavilion has been conceived by award-winning UK artist and designer Es Devlin OBE and will be produced by the London and Dubai teams of the global brand experience agency, Avantgarde. The Department for International Trade is leading the UK’s presence at the event, with cross-government support.

World Expos are held every five years in different host countries, with the first being the iconic Great Exhibition of 1851, held in the Crystal Palace in London, designed to showcase the greatest inventions of the industrial revolution in the heart of Victorian Britain.

Innovations showcased in past Expos have included the telegraph, the typewriter, the first mechanical computer, the x-ray machine and electron microscopes.

Architectural gems to have been born from cities hosting an Expo have included the Eiffel Tower in Paris, The Columbus Monument in Barcelona, The Natural History Museum and V&A in London and the iconic Seattle Space Tower.

Posted on Friday 28th June 2019

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