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Expo 2020 Dubai quarterly newsletter, issue 1

Welcome to the first issue of the Expo 2020 Dubai quarterly newsletter.

EXPO 2020 Dubai Australia logo

Introduction to Expo 2020 Dubai

What is a world expo?

World Expos are major platforms offering a unique opportunity for participating nations to showcase themselves to a large international audience. Australia took part in the 2010 world expo in Shanghai. Previous Australian involvement in expos include Yeosu in 2012, Aichi in 2005, Hannover in 2000, and Brisbane in 1988.

Theme: 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future' with opportunity, mobility and sustainability sub-themes

When: 20 October 2020 – 10 April 2021

Investment: The UAE is spending USD 9.4 billion.

A truly global event running 173 days, Expo 2020 will be a gateway into new markets, and will offer businesses a unique platform to promote themselves, win investment, and develop relationships with more than 190 participating countries, multilateral organizations, corporations and educational institutions which will have a presence at expo.

Construction is well underway on the 438 hectare expo site, with major infrastructure (shell and core of all structures), including all roads, bridges and utilities expected to be completed by October 2019.

Visitor profile

  • 25 million visitors, 70% of them from outside the UAE
  • 20% from each of Gulf Cooperation Council nations, South Asia and Western Europe
  • 11% from the Middle East and North Africa and
  • High brand exposure to top 10 markets visiting Dubai: India, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, China, Russia, Oman, United States, Germany, Pakistan and Iran

Massive opportunities

Australian entities including Cox Architecture, AGB Events, Event Workforce Group, and Aconex, GHD Global Pty. Ltd, have won around $70 million in expo-related contracts to date. Australian companies will also have the opportunity to benefit from association with the badge of government by becoming Sponsors or Official Providers.

Construction site with cranes
Expo Site – Construction
Rendering of site
Expo Site (concept drawing)

Australian Pavilion update

The Australian Pavilion will be the centrepiece of our participation at Expo 2020. The Pavilion will be located in the mobility thematic district adjacent to the Mobility Pavilion. DFAT is managing Australia's participation in expo in consultation with Austrade and state and territory governments.

A consortium led by Brisbane-based Urban Art Projects (UAP) is designing the Australian Pavilion and visitor experience. An independent panel of well-known Australian creatives, including Katrina Sedgwick, Ken Maher, Wayne Borg and Margo Neale, have provided design input.

The Australian Pavilion will provide a platform for mobilising ideas and showcasing Australian inventiveness. It will project a contemporary image and promote Australia as an attractive place to invest, study, visit and do business.

The Australian Pavilion will provide visitors with an informative and engaging experience. It will also include a well-appointed functions space that will be used to host events as part of a strategically targeted business program which will promote trade and investment and underscore our credentials including in agribusiness, health, as a producer of innovative products, and as a top tier provider of education and professional services.

We expect to commence construction of the Pavilion in the second half of 2019.

Rendering of the Mobility Pavilion building
Mobility Pavilion
Group of people in front of construction site
The Socceroos kicking off 2019 in Australia's first event at the Expo site

Recent appointments

As preparations for expo ramp up, we have appointed a number of leading Australian companies to assist in the management, operation and promotion of the Australian pavilion and our featured programming


TVG, a partnership between Thinkwell Group and IVG, a leading venue management company in Melbourne, will operate the venue during the six months of expo.

Communications and marketing

To maximise trade and investment opportunities for business and industry, we have engaged Australian strategic creative, digital, PR and social media company, Icon Agency who will work with Acorn Strategy to deliver a targeted communications and marketing strategy over the next 2 years.

Cultural program

The Pavilion will also host a cultural program, curated by Jacqui Bonner Marketing and Management, which will highlight Australia's creative and performing arts. To benefit from the opportunity of performing to a global audience at the Australian Pavilion, we encourage all touring Australian performers and artists to consider a stopover in Dubai during Expo 2020.

International participants meeting

Australia took part in the second annual International Participants meeting took place on 26 – 27 November 2018 with 626 delegates from 190 countries.

Participants are pushing creative boundaries for Expo 2020 with cross-programming and partnership initiatives being developed between pavilions. We expect a competitive marketplace for guest attraction.

Large group of people
IPM 2018 Country Commissioner Generals
Many people at desks at a conference
IPM 2018

Opportunities for Australian business and industry


There is a limited number of sponsor slots available, providing access to participate in expo in association with the badge of government. Are you looking to expand your export markets, attract investment, access government officials and ministers or influence global decision-makers? If so, becoming a Sponsor of the Australian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai could be for you. We are looking to pa rtner with world-leading innovative Australian firms and institutions who wish to enhance their credibility and build their profile in the global marketplace. We will work with you to develop a package that best meets your needs. For more information and/or to arrange a discussion, please email

Official provider invitation

DFAT is inviting expressions of interest to become an Official Provider to the Australian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Official providers will have the opportunity to showcase their brands and products to international businesses and consumers.

We will be seeking contributions under three main categories:

  • Construction and fit-out
  • Hospitality (general and consumable e.g. food and beverage)
  • Other goods or services

Official Provider status presents a great opportunity for Australian businesses looking to launch or accelerate growth in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Central and South Asia. By becoming an official provider, not only will your business have a presence at the world's largest business, economic and cultural event, you will receive a range of other benefits aimed at achieving maximum commercial exposure.

Expo live

Expo Live is an innovation and partnership program launched by Expo 2020 with an allocation of AUD 141.21 million to fund, accelerate, and promote creative solutions to global challenges with a focus on the expo subthemes, Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. Winning projects receive a support grant, business guidance, promotion and acceleration of their creative solutions, and will have the opportunity to showcase their work at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Pavilion retail offering

There will also be opportunities for business to be involved in the Australian Pavilion's retail offering. More information will be available soon.

Expo online marketplace

Expo 2020 has launched a new, free-to-use online marketplace to replace the previous eSource platform. The Expo 2020 Online Marketplace (OMP) will help companies connect and collaborate with other entities and take advantage of new business opportunities by allowing them to promote tender opportunities and showcase products, services and expertise to Expo 2020 and its participants, licensees and contractors, as well as other registered businesses. There are more than 24,500 registered suppliers on the portal, with over 70% of them SMEs. Companies are invited to register at

Rendering of Al Wasi Plaza
Al Wasl Plaza

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To keep up to date with expo developments, subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Subscribing will ensure you will continue to be informed of all the exciting opportunities that Australia's participation in Expo 2020 Dubai presents for Australian business.

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Last Updated: 6 February 2019
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