Australia design innovation on show at Expo 2020 Dubai

May 2020

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Expo 2020 Dubai will include over 100 exhibition spaces. The Mobility Pavilion will be a standout, with a phenomenal audio-visual experience. Australian construction and entertainment-space designer, Sanderson, has taken a lead role. Showcasing Australian innovation and ingenuity, the pavilion is set to take visitors on an awe-inspiring, multi-sensory journey.

The Mobility Pavilion will be a highlight of Expo 2020. It will tell the history of how people, goods and ideas all travel – in the past and into the future. Visitors will enter a sensory-rich, three-act journey, from ancient Baghdad to a thoroughly data-driven twenty-first century.

Creating the pavilion required imagination as well as engineering skill. With multiple regional projects to its name, Australian design company, Sanderson, was invited to bid.

‘We were approached by the General Contractor ALEC and asked to develop Act Two of the threepart Mobility Pavilion experience,’ says General Manager, Peter Sanderson. ‘We had already established a reputation for innovation in the Emirates. The contractor came to us with a superb concept and a simple question: ‘Can this be built?’

An Australian pioneer in Asia-Pacific & Middle East

Sanderson Group (Sanderson) is a design and construction company that builds leisure and entertainment spaces. Its dual function makes it unique. As a design consulting company, it is at the forefront of creating story telling guest experiences. As a construction company, it is constantly pushing the physical boundaries of what is possible.

The family company has a global reputation. In 1989, Sanderson developed the multi-award winning Warner Bros Movie World Park on the Gold Coast. Since then, the company has opened offices in Dubai, Mumbai, Macau, Singapore, China, Philippines and Saudi Arabia, and delivered major projects across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

In 2015, Sanderson opened an office in the Emirates and then took a lead role in constructing Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, which is now the biggest indoor theme park in the world. The company’s success is built on a pioneering spirit: the ability to turn advanced construction techniques into awesome visitor attractions.

‘We innovate naturally because we combine design and build capabilities – and that gives us an international competitive advantage,’ says Sanderson. ‘Our reputation for innovation and quality is what led to our involvement with Expo 2020 Dubai.’

‘We continue to work with the highest calibre of designers and contractors in the world, constantly pushing boundaries. We are creating new guest experiences that have never been done before’
Peter Sanderson, General Manager, Sanderson

An audio-visual sensation

A combined creative and engineering team at Sanderson quickly produced mock ups and further developed conceptual designs. This gave the contractor confidence that Sanderson could turn initial ideas into reality.

‘We did a proof of concept that showed our client how we could take the visitor on an emotional journey, using all the ingenuity that we have developed as entertainment space designers. We integrated all the elements – light, sound and texture – into a rich and overwhelming sensory experience.’

The result will be unveiled to the public on opening of the Expo which is slated as the largest event ever staged in the Middle East and the world’s greatest show.

High speed delivery

Sanderson was engaged in June 2019, and completed physical work in February 2020. This helped to make the Mobility Pavilion one of the first at Expo 2020 set to be fully completed.

‘Expo 2020 is a fast-paced place to be,’ says Sanderson. ‘We continue to work with the highest calibre of designers and contractors in the world, constantly pushing boundaries. We are creating new guest experiences that have never been done before, and the talent here on site means we are redefining how and what we do as a company.’

Innovation, the key ingredient

Sanderson’s success at Expo Dubai 2020 demonstrates that highly innovative Australian companies can gain landmark contracts at major global events – and that global customers recognise the creativity and energy of Australian enterprise.

‘Our consistently strong investment in research and technology puts us at the forefront of what we do – and the world sees it,’ says Sanderson. ‘We have just been awarded a new contract to work on our second pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020. What’s being created here is truly remarkable.’

Today, Sanderson is one of dozens of Australian companies that have won major contracts at Expo 2020 Dubai. When the event opens in October 2021* Australian companies will have supplied many of the core elements, from event management solutions to design and infrastructure, and from safety and security services to logistics support.

About Expo 2020 Dubai*

In May 2020, the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) Member States confirmed the postponement of the World Expo by one year.

The global mega event will now take place on 1 October 2021 - 31 March 2022, a delay that will allow participants to safely navigate the impact of COVID-19.

The event will retain its name and continue to be called Expo 2020 Dubai.

For more information on the Sanderson International Group, visit -

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