In August of 2017, the Austrian federal government made the decision to participate in EXPO 2020 Dubai. Former Federal Minister Beatrix Karl was appointed honorary commissioner for the world expo and will represent Austria externally.
Funding is provided by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.
Austria’s participation in EXPO 2020 is an important contribution to “nation branding” directed at an international audience. In recent years, the significance of the EXPO has changed and the event has developed into a showcase for the innovations and solutions of the participating countries. Because a highly international audience is expected, Austria’s presence in Dubai has a strong commercial and tourism component.
During the World Expo, the Austria pavilion will be competing with more than 180 participating countries and pavilion organizers will face the challenge of presenting Austria in an innovative and creative way. At the same time, EXPO 2020 Dubai offers Austria a platform with broad publicity and media exposure that will attract considerable attention both at the venue and on an international level.
As a result of its participation, Austria can anticipate a deepening of bilateral relations with the host country and a stronger positioning in the entire region. Presence at the World Expo offers the opportunity to promote Austria’s strong suits to an international audience, such as innovative strength, creativity, research capacities, and high-quality educational offerings. In addition, Austria’s economic strength and attraction as a tourism destination will be communicated.
The exhibition area for the Austrian pavilion comprises 2,400 m² and is located between Switzerland and China in the Opportunity district: “unlocking the potential within individuals and communities to shape the future”.
To finalize project identification, an EU-wide, two-stage realization competition was announced in which 43 teams from all creative sectors participated. The task encompassed the architecture of the pavilion, the design of the exhibition, as well as the design and integration of the exterior spaces into the exhibition activities.
An interdisciplinary jury of experts recommended the project “in dialogue with austria” under the direction of querkraft architekten.