Netherlands Pavilion, Dubai Expo 2022

Design and operational planning advice for the award-winning pavilion


The Netherlands wished to verify that the design and concept of operation for its Pavilion for Dubai Expo 2020 could meet its ambitions. Movement Strategies was commissioned to undertake a visitor flow study to determine: 1. If there was sufficient space to accommodate waiting visitors within the Pavilion plot; 2. How pulsing visitors through the central experiential element of the Pavilion could achieve the desired level of experience and visitation targets; and 3. How the visitor experience for general admission, VIPs and people with reduce mobility could be optimised.





We reviewed the visitor journey through the Pavilion, assessing the capacities of each component of the experience independently. This determined the balance of capacities of the different components and provided an estimation of the overall capacity of the Pavilion ‘flow system’.

Subsequently, we developed a 3D micro-simulation to verify that the proposed pulse experience could achieve the desired performance, notably in terms of processing times and visitation targets.

The simulations incorporated unusual elements of the experience (including the use of umbrellas) which helped visualise how the system worked for stakeholders.

Sensitivity testing was carried out to assess the resilience of the ‘flow system’, inform the concept of operation (including staffing requirements) and optimise the overall visitor experience.

3D model simulation of the Pavilion


Our assessment demonstrated that the concept design could meet the Client’s visitation targets for the Pavilion. It also highlighted that a balanced ‘flow system’ was essential to ensure the smooth running of the Pavilion since a delay in one of the components would delay the whole system.

We recommended measures to mitigate risks of delays and optimise operational resilience. This included recommendations on the number and location of staff, entry/exit procedures to adopt for each component, length and type of experience, management of retail counter and selfie hotspots, etc.

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