The UAE on show at the World Expo 2015

The UAE Pavilion at the World Expo in Milan has been drawing the biggest queues at the show. Paul Milligan got an exclusive tour behind the scenes to see just what it was that was attracting people to it.

The latest incarnation of one of the biggest shows on earth, the World Expo, has taken up residence in Milan from May till October this year.

To get an idea of the sheer scale of the event, it’s expected that 20 million visitors will walk across the 272-acre site in that time. Each one of the 145 countries present at the show is investing heavily (a survey for World Expo 2000 in Hanover found the average pavilion investment was €12 million) to make sure its country is viewed in as positive and innovative light as possible.

This year those behind the creation of each pavilion had to wrestle with the theme of Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, which tackles the subject of food sustainability. As usual with World Expos, some followed the theme more stringently than others (the Italian pavilion for example consisted solely of hundreds of bottles of Italian wine).

One country to stick closely to the theme was the UAE, and judging by the queues around the pavilion which were by far the longest compared to any other on the site, theirs was the right approach. According to Dr Peter Vine, the project director for this and the last seven UAE pavilions at the World Expo, it was the only approach up for consideration: "There is lots of aspiration and idealism behind the idea the Italians had put forward, and we wanted the UAE to make a genuine contribution, both to the expo and the theme itself.”

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