The UAE Pavilion in Shanghai | 2010 World Expo


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Close-up of one of our fave architectural landmark in Abu Dhabi

You have probably driven a dozen times to Manarat Al Saadiyat admiring the iconic building shaping desert sand dunes. But do you know the whole story behind this now famous Abu Dhabi landmark?

A few hints for you to discover:

It was unveiled to the public in 2010 and was first admired in Shanghai. There is no typo as actually this landmark was built to represent the pavilion of the UAE during the 2010 World Exhibition at Shanghai.

Foster + Partners – the studio for sustainable architecture, urbanism and design, founded by Norman Foster in 1967 – designed this iconic masterpiece which has the shape of huge sand dunes that aim to represent the country’s deserts.

On one side, the outer facade of the pavilion is totally smooth and made in gold-colored stainless steel. Its undulating shape looks as if natural wind had modeled the building. On the other side, the building is almost vertical and let the light enter as it is made of glass.


Back To Abu Dhabi

Once the world exhibition in Shanghai – that lasted 6 months – was over, the pavilion was dismantled and rebuilt on Saadiyat Island facing the facade of Manarat Al Saadiyat.

We can now see year after year the outer facade turning into a more brownish and copper color that also reflects the ever-changing color of sand dunes from dawn to dusk.

If you have lived a couple of years in The UAE, you may have visited the inside of the building that welcomed some collections showcased at Art Abu Dhabi in 2011.

With a capacity of 450 people enclosing 3,000 square meters of exhibition space, the UAE pavilion was one of the largest structures built for the 2010 Shanghai expo.

As one of the ADC team members was lucky enough to visit this exhibition in Shanghai, you can see below some images of the landmark while it was settled in China in 2010.

For the nostalgic

Here is the 6-minute award-winning animated video that the World Expo visitors in Shanghai could watch at the UAE Pavilion to discover a glimpse of the country.

THE UAE PAVILION | Beside Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi

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2010 World Expo in ShabgjaiAbu Dhabi landmarkabu dhabi landmarksFoster+PartnersNorman FosterShanghai 2010UAE pavilion

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