UAE Pavilion, Dubai Expo 2022

Design and operational planning advice for the host nation's pavilion


Designed in the shape of a falcon in flight, the UAE Pavilion was one of the main attractions at Expo 2020. The pavilion told the history of the host nation and presented its vision for the future. Movement Strategies was invited by the newly appointed exhibition design team to assess the exhibition’s design from a visitor flow and experience perspective as there were concerns that the original arrangements may not meet the Client’s targets. We were tasked with ensuring that the requirements for visitor movements in terms of throughput, comfort and operation were integrated into the updated design of the exhibition.





We worked as part of the exhibition design team, ensuring that the exhibition, movement spaces (i.e. horizontal and vertical circulation) were adequately sized for anticipated movement during peak and off-peak conditions, and that the operational processes were integrated.

We initially conducted a desktop review of the General Admission (GA) flow ‘system’ to assess the holding capacity and throughput of each component of the Pavilion based on the desired comfort targets. This enabled us to estimate the capacity and throughput of the Pavilion and identify the constraining component of the visit.

We also reviewed the ability of each component to accommodate the proposed ‘pulsed’ operation. This was a fundamental operational requirement of the design to ensure that the Pavilion runs smoothly and offers the desired visitor experience.

We subsequently undertook dynamic modelling of people movement through the GA visitor circulation routes at peak, which assessed the performance of the pulsed circulation system and helped refine operational plans, taking into consideration the user experience and safety.

We also reviewed the timed ticketing system to assess its impact on operations and experience.

Finally, we reviewed the concept of operation in the context of social distancing requirements to minimise risks of transmission of the Covid-19 virus.


The study demonstrated that revised design and concept of operation could meet the Client’s aspirations for the Pavilion.

We recommended key measures to ensure the ‘pulsed’ operation runs smoothly, including the number and location of staff, loading/unloading procedures to adopt for each component, length of the main ‘show’, etc.

The timed ticketing system was identified as a fundamental operational element to mitigate risks of delays, optimise operational resilience, management visitor demand and enhance the visitor experience.

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