French Minister Jean-Yves LE DRIAN reveals France Pavilion visitors’ journey

Jean Yves Le Drian- French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs

Putting scientific and technical innovation at the service of human progress: this is the ambition that France has wanted to embody since the Age of Enlightenment. Faced with the current pandemic crisis as well as the challenges of the ecological transition, new mobility and the digital revolution, this ambition today takes on a new meaning and a new urgency.

This is why we wanted the France Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo to be an expression of the wish for this 21st century Enlightenment that we will be working to bring about with our sponsors from the 190 countries represented at this major event, in order to make real the slogan chosen by the United Arab Emirates: “Connecting Minds, Creating the future”

Our Pavilion is therefore designed as a link between the universal heritage that we are proud to claim and the solutions that we are bringing today to build a more sustainable, more resilient and more inclusive world, in accordance with the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Symbol of this profound continuity: the 2,500 m² of photovoltaic solar tiles in this eco-building will give shelter to an original edition of the 35 volume Diderot and d’Alembert Encyclopedia.


Thanks to the commitment of its Commissioner General, Erik LINQUIER, and the public and private players around him, our Pavilion will also serve to promote France’s influence and pull factor.

For our companies, our communities and our start-ups, the Dubai World Expo really is a unique opportunity to conquer new markets and to get involved, alongside new sponsors, to meet the challenges of tomorrow in terms of energy, mobility, education and in many more areas. To help them launch and sustain this dynamic, they

will obviously be able to count on our diplomatic network, as well as on Business France, our chambers of commerce and the French Foreign Trade Advisers (CCEF, Conseillers du Commerce Extérieur de la France). For us, it is that much more important to support them since an international presence to our economic offer is one of the priorities of our recovery plan.

Our Pavilion will also enable highlighting the richness of our tourist, gastronomic and cultural assets, in particular thanks to varied event programming which, throughout the six months of the Exhibition, will offer the public an overview of our country’s heritage and top-level know- how. Conceived as so many opportunities to collectively forge responses to the challenges of tomorrow, these events will also reflect France’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Finally, on a “day dedicated to the French language, our Pavilion will celebrate this formidable vector of dialogue and diversity which is in full flow today and therefore appears, more than ever, as a privileged means of “connecting minds” in order to “create the future”.


Therefore we are impatiently awaiting this great meet up, ready to share our convictions and our projects with all visitors to the France Pavilion and very happy that the organisers have chosen to put our country in the spotlight the day after the opening.

I hope that this new Dubai World Expo, the first ever organised in the Middle East, will finally mark the resumption of international meetings and the relaunch of discussions between peoples, and I congratulate the United Arab Emirates for having been able to stay the course, despite the vagaries of the pandemic crisis.

Jean-Yves le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Erik Linquier, Commissioner General for France at the Dubai World Expo and Chairman of Cofrex, and Justine Weulersse, Content and Programming Director and Exhibition Commissioner General, have unveiled on April 26th, 2021, the visitor experience and, in particular, the permanent and temporary exhibitions at the France Pavilion.

The ambition of the France Pavilion is to unleash inspiration in its visitors: to bring out ideas, desires, and emotions, to generate involvement, to embody innovations. An expression of the wish for progress, innovation and creation, the visitor experience revolves around light. This unifying theme has been present since the genesis of the project, both in the Pavilion architecture and in its exhibitions and event programming topics. The events programming will also be the opportunity to highlight French innovations, and to showcase our companies internationally.

The Pavilion’s visitors’ journey is organized into several spaces which are, as it were, so many stages and proposals for reinventing our present and creating our future:

Therefore, the France Pavilion has designed the visitor experience in two parts:

The France Pavilion promenade will be a place for strolling about in a relaxed way and will host two artistic proposals: that of Sepand Danesh and that of lille3000. The Entrance Hall will be a place of welcome and general introduction to the Pavilion. The Explorers will have a list of the natural, cultural and human resources of French regions on display.   The permanent exhibition is the heart of the Pavilion. Dedicated to the notion of Progress, it presents visitors with three staged spaces, each featuring a vision of progress. These visions echo the theme of the Pavilion (“Light, Enlightenment“), that of its geographical wing (“Mobility“, with CNES, Renault, ENGIE x Île- de-France Region, Accor and FLYING WHALES) and the general theme of the Expo (“Connecting Minds, Creating the future“, with the CNRS, the CRI and Art Explora).   Within the continuity of the permanent exhibition, visitors will be able to discover a temporary exhibition, renewed every month, each one dedicated to an artistic expertise: digital art (Histovery x L’Oréal on Notre-Dame), tableware (Chalhoub Group), kinetic art (Carlos Cruz-Diez), architecture (Société du Grand Paris x Dominique Perrault) and fashion (Jean Paul Gaultier).   Finally, art on display will give an identity to each of the Belvédère spaces of the France Pavilion throughout the whole duration of the Dubai World Expo.

The Belvédère, the Pavilion’s exceptional event space, will host professional and general public events. An artistic journey has been designed for these audiences, to personalise the different spaces and illustrate the central themes of the Pavilion: Light, Mobility, Innovation.

The work of Carlos Cruz-Diez

Carlos Cruz-Diez is one of the great protagonists of contemporary art. His works and writings place him among the greatest thinkers about colour of the 20th century. Some of his works combining colour, movement and light will be exhibited at the Belvédère.

Jean-François Rauzier, hyperphotography

Jean-François Rauzier created the “Utopia” project for the Belvédère, in collaboration with the curator Nina Sales. Together, they imagined a multidisciplinary, immersive, and fundamentally visionary space. The artistic journey is inspired by the French Enlightenment, inviting the public to immerse themselves in the heart of fabulous frescoes, modern day heterotopias. These will give the visitor the sensation of wandering in the heart of dreamlike and historical universes, and will plunge them, thanks to this hyperphotographic effect, into a reflection on the place of humans in the city and tomorrow’s world.

The Mobilier National

Supporting the arts and crafts since the 17th century, the Mobilier National perpetuates and passes on exceptional know-how. Resolutely turned towards the future, the institution is also promoting the arts and contemporary design in France. Faithful to its tradition of putting the decorative arts on the map at international events, the Mobilier National has joined forces with the France Pavilion to spotlight the excellence of the intangible heritage and French design.

VOYAGER immersive capsule BY IMMERTECH®

For six months, IMMERTECH will present a 360° immersive experience with its VOYAGER BY IMMERTECH® capsule on display in the Belvédère of the France Pavilion. The immersive capsule will broadcast content related to the Pavilion’s themed fortnights: an exploratory journey to awaken one’s imagination on the conquest of space, the discovery of a biome altered by human activities to question our ecological impact, an involved and involving perception of the city of tomorrow to present an alternative to our ways of designing infrastructure and many other trips.

The France Pavilion has also designed its six-month presence around twelve themed fortnights, which are based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN.

From 1st October 2021 to March 31 2022

The Dubai World Expo will be the biggest global gathering of 2021. Expo 2020 Dubai is the first world expo to be held in the MEASA region (Middle East, Africa, and South Asia), and is centred around the theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.” Expo 2020 Dubai brings together more than 200 participants representing various entities — countries, organisations, companies, and academic establishments — and is expected to receive some 25 million visitors.

World Expos of this kind have always ranked among the most eagerly anticipated international events, alongside the Olympic Games and the World Cup. They carry on a proud and longstanding history, beginning with the first ever Great Exhibition held in London in 1851.

The ambitions set by these expos have evolved over the decades, and today lean towards international cooperation and the search for solutions to the challenges humanity faces. Over six months, every country in the world will come together in order to discuss, propose and implement practical solutions for the benefit of all humankind.

At the Dubai World Expo France intends to promote its know-how on the international scene. The ambition of the Pavilion during the Dubai World Expo is to highlight France’s commitment to building our shared future using political, economic, cultural and social initiatives and actions. French sponsors, stakeholders and talents honoured at the France Pavilion will express their French commitment to building a sustainable society, thus enabling France to defend its new vision of responsible progress.

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