Portugal: Expo Dubai 2020 to focus on language, culture, music

  • Lusa
  • 14 January 2020

Portugal's participation in Expo Dubai, after 10 years in which the country has been absent from universal exhibitions, has a total investment of around 21 million euros.

The Portuguese Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020, an event that begins on 20 October, will show the art of glazed tiles and Portuguese paving, with a programme dedicated to the Portuguese language, culture and music.

These are some of the outlines about the future Portuguese presence in Expo Dubai, which will last for 173 days and in its final part, in the first months of 2021, will coincide with a time when Portugal will assume the presidency of the European Union.

“The Portuguese pavilion is an invitation to travel around the country, to see our capacity for welcoming, inclusion and modernity, together with a historical legacy of respect,” said the general commissioner at the exhibition, Celso Guedes de Carvalho, in a session that took place at the Pavilhão do Conhecimento in Lisbon, and was attended by the prime minister, António Costa.

Celso Guedes de Carvalho said that the Portugal Pavilion will have a restaurant on the upper floor, as well as a rooftop for an economic diplomacy space and that he will present a programme in which the universal character of the country will be shown, with a bet on Portuguese-language music, such as fado, morna or samba.

Until the end of the exhibition, Portugal will have, among other special events, a week dedicated to water and, together with Spain, a week dedicated to innovation.

The Portuguese commissariat expects that, throughout the event, the pavilion of Portugal, which will have an entrance floor in Portuguese pavement and parts of walls decorated with tiles, will be visited by two million people – a number that was reached in the last universal exhibition in which the country participated, in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, in 2010.

In a brief speech, the president of AICEP (Portuguese Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade), Luís Castro Henriques, said that Expo Dubai 2020, which is expected to receive around 25 million visitors, is the perfect showcase to promote Portugal in a region of the world with great growth potential.

The secretary of state for internationalisation, Eurico Brilhante Dias, added that this event is a huge opportunity for Portugal to share its vision on the response to problems on a global scale, speaking then on sustainability and mobility.

“This is thought to be the biggest universal exhibition ever. This is also an opportunity for us to capture foreign direct investment and position our companies,” said Eurico Brilhante Dias, later pointing out that Portugal has growth rates in the markets of the Arabian Peninsula of around 10%.

Eurico Brilhante Dias warned, however, that the Portuguese presence in Dubai will not be exhausted in its economic dimension.

The Portuguese Pavilion for Expo Dubai 2020 began to be built by the company Casais last December and the work should be completed by the end of August. The investment, including the design of the building, construction, maintenance and operation, should be about €21 million.