Liam Fox to break ground on UK pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

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  • On 27 June, Secretary of State for International Trade, The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, will break ground on the UK’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai
  • He will also announce Pico and McLaren as the official construction partners for the UK Pavilion
  • Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to welcome 25 million visitors from across the world, and the Pavilion will showcase the best of British innovation, creativity and expertise to the world

Tomorrow (Thursday 27 June), International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP will break ground on the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, officially marking the beginning of construction.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Dr Liam Fox MP will announce that Pico, a global leader in total brand activation, and British construction firm McLaren are the official construction partners for the 3,417sqm, two-level UK Pavilion.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said:

As the first major international moment after we leave the EU, Expo 2020 Dubai will mark the UK becoming a truly independent trading nation.

The Expo provides a global platform to showcase our ambition for the future, and our participation provides excellent opportunities for UK businesses that have already won major contracts.

I am delighted that our newly appointed construction partners Pico and McLaren will be working with our design team to bring the best of British creativity, innovation and expertise to the world.

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.

Located in the ‘Opportunity’ district the UK Pavilion, designed by award-winning British artist Es Devlin OBE, will promote the UK as a world-class destination for trade, investment, education and tourism, and highlight the UK’s expertise in artificial intelligence and the space sector. It will also represent the UK with its “Innovating for a Shared Future’ theme.

After a competitive dialogue procurement contract exercise, Pico was selected for its long history in world expos having been involved in the delivery of over 80 country pavilions. With a 50-year track record and global presence, Pico has been in the UK since the 1980s and in the Middle East since the early 1990s.

McLaren brings a wealth of experience in the construction and development industry, with established operations in the UK and United Arab Emirates. The two companies will form a strong strategic partnership to deliver the UK Pavilion at the Expo.

Director at Pico Group, Jessie Ng, said:

Pico and McLaren are proud to have been chosen to build the UK Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai. Working with the Department for International Trade, we will build a unique and exciting structure that will showcase the best in UK innovation and reflect the opportunities within the UK’s participating theme for Expo 2020 Dubai – ‘Innovating for a Shared Future’.

UK companies have won a significant proportion of contracts related to the design, build and delivery of Expo 2020 Dubai, such as Hampshire-based Serco Group who acquired a £140 million contract extension to maintain and operate the Dubai Metro – the main method of transportation for visitors to the Expo site. And similarly, Dartford-based Laing O’Rourke won a £130 million contract to build the Leadership and Media Pavilions and the ‘Hammerhead’ access road to the central event space for Expo 2020 Dubai.


Notes to Editors


The UK at Expo 2020 Dubai

The UK is participating in Expo 2020 Dubai, taking place from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021. Over 190 nations are taking part and the event is expected to receive 25 million visits, with 70% being international. The overarching theme for Expo 2020 Dubai is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

The UK’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai will be led by the Department for International Trade (DIT), with support from other Government Departments across Whitehall. The UK’s presence will consist of a self-build country Pavilion and an accompanying business and cultural events programme. The theme of the UK Pavilion is ‘Innovating for a Shared Future’ and will be based in the ‘Opportunity’ district.

Find out more on the Dubai Expo 2020 website

The Department for International Trade

DIT helps businesses export, drives inward and outward investment, negotiates market access and trade deals, and champions free trade.

We are an international economic department, responsible for:

  • Supporting and encouraging UK businesses to drive sustainable international growth.
  • Ensuring the UK remains a leading destination for international investment and maintains its number one position for international investment stock in Europe.
  • Opening markets, building a trade framework with new and existing partners which is free and fair.
  • Using trade and investment to underpin the government’s agenda for a Global Britain and its ambitions for prosperity, stability and security worldwide.

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