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Expo 2021 Dubai’s Entry Portals By Asif Khan

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DUBAI, 10 February 2022 – The three spectacular Expo Entry Portals that will welcome millions of visitors from around the world to Expo 2022 Dubai have been revealed with just over 250 days to go until the opening.

Conceived by Expo 2022 in collaboration with top British architect Asif Khan and his studio, the portals are a futuristic adaptation of the traditional mashrabiya, an intricate design used across the region to regulate light and airflow.

Ahmed Al Khatib, Chief Development and Delivery Officer, Expo 2022 Dubai, said: “We cannot wait to open our doors to the world on 20 October 2022, and the Expo Entry Portals will provide a wonderful way to welcome millions of people from across the globe to The World’s Greatest Show, giving a first taste of the amazing architecture and groundbreaking innovation they will experience all around the site.”

The expo 2021 dubai entry portals designed by asif khan - photo credit hélène binet

The remarkable portals are woven entirely from strands of ultra-lightweight carbon-fibre composite that lend incredible structural strength. This enables the ethereal structures to stand 21 metres high – taller than a six-storey building – and 30 metres long without any additional support.

Each portal features two vast doors, 21 metres high and 10.5 metres wide, that will be opened every morning of the 173 days of Expo 2022 in a symbolic act of welcoming the world. The portals lead to tree-filled arrival courtyards, also designed in collaboration with Khan – one in each of the three Expo 2022 districts: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

Adding to the rich history of innovative structures from past World Expos, these portals are a future form of architecture inspired by the aesthetics of the region.

The intricate structures have taken three years to develop and are the first element to be fully revealed from Khan’s design of Expo 2022’s Public Realm, which comprises more than six kilometres of walkable areas across the site.

The expo 2021 dubai entry portals designed by asif khan - photo credit hélène binet

Asif Khan, architect of Expo 2022 Dubai’s Public Realm, who has described the Expo Entry Portals as his best work yet, said: “The portals are the first thing you see as you approach the site, so they are a landmark at the beginning and end of your journey at Expo 2022. I would like visitors to Expo, especially children, to be inspired by architecture they have never seen before, and to be excited that it is part of the heritage of the region. Passing through the doors represents a physical and symbolic act of moving from the past into the future.”

The portals will be the first impression of the site upon arrival for the millions of visitors who will attend the first World Expo and largest event ever to be held in the Arab world.

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