Over half a million visitors have already been to the Poland Pavilion
Three months at Expo 2020 Dubai.
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- During the first three months of Expo 2020 Dubai, over 500,000 guests from all over the world visited the Polish Pavilion.
- The Polish Pavilion has become a venue for numerous cultural and business events, including:
- 9 temporary exhibitions related to Polish institutions and regions, accompanied by thematic workshops, discussions and presentations;
- 6 business seminars with over 300 participants; the seminars included such topics as green technologies, state-of-the-art technologies in the space industry, smart solutions for cities, and educational technologies;
- 540 Chopin recitals;
- 180 educational workshops for children and young people.
- The Polish–Arab Economic Forum was attended by 650 people (and 150 participants online). Three bilateral agreements were signed to boost contacts and business relations between Poland and the UAE.
- Apart from the Polish–Arab Economic Forum and the Poland National Day, the key event of the Polish presentation was the celebration of Poland’s Independence Day with a gala concert of classical music. On 11 November 2021, Martín García García, who received the third prize in the 18th Chopin Piano Competition, and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Andrzej Boreyka, performed on the stage of the Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre. The concert repertoire ranged from Fryderyk Chopin to Stanisław Moniuszko to Mieczysław Karłowicz.
- Since 1 October 2021, the Export Centre of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency has organised nearly 500 meetings with investors, companies from various industries, and representatives of other pavilions. The aim is to establish new business contacts and promote the investment potential of Polish companies.
The past three months of Poland’s presence at Expo 2020 Dubai have been extremely intense. We are pleased to see such a large turnout, which confirms that the Poland Pavilion is among the most popular. Impressive in many respects, the pavilion has aroused great interest among visitors and the media from all over the world. This is very important in the context of the multidimensional promotion of Poland throughout the world. Over the past three months, we organised a number of business and cultural events. I hope that the coming months will bring many business and economic benefits, and make unforgettable impressions on all those who visit our pavilion, said Adrian Malinowski, Commissioner General of the Polish Section Expo 2020 Dubai.
Expo 2020 Dubai is an excellent opportunity to promote not only Poland’s image on the international stage but also specific products and services. On the one hand, we present our achievements concerning our economy, culture and design; on the other, we show our country as an attractive place to invest. Cooperation with the Middle East countries is extremely important in these fields. Therefore, I am pleased that our activities to date have been positively received, and the events have been attended by a wide range of entrepreneurs. A key moment was the Polish–Arab Economic Forum that brought tangible results in the form of bilateral agreements and new trade relations. From this point of view, the Polish–African Economic Forum will be another highlight in the coming months of the Polish presence at Expo 2020 Dubai, but there will certainly be many more important and interesting events, added Krzysztof Drynda, President of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency.
The Poland Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai
The Poland Pavilion is the venue where presentations and the organisation of most events take place. The architects, craftspeople and artists who created it were mainly inspired by the diversity of Polish landscapes and nature. The building was made of certified wood, highly valued in the Arab countries. New construction technologies were used for the Poland Pavilion, and individual elements were designed from materials that can be reused.
The construction process began in 2019. The pavilion’s area exceeds 2,000 sqm. Before they enter, visitors see a kinetic sculpture depicting a flock of migrating birds. This way, our venue clearly refers to the tagline of Poland’s presence at Expo 2020 Dubai: ‘Poland. Creativity inspired by nature’. Inside the Poland Pavilion, the focal point is the ‘Polish Table’ art installation, consisting of 120 modules made of Polish wood, and special modules prepared by top artists, architects and engineers. This interactive installation is a meeting place as well as a symbol of Polish hospitality. Expo participants are also impressed by Chopin recitals, enabling them to listen to the composer’s greatest works three times a day. Programming and coding workshops, fashion shows, and daily events for children and young people are also very popular. The five zones of the Poland Pavilion together form a modern and interactive exhibition that presents the universal story of Poland’s economic successes, and introduces visitors to Poland’s culture as well as natural and tourist assets. The Poland Pavilion also presents nearly 200 businesses from industries that have the greatest export potential to Middle Eastern markets.
An important part of the Polish presence at Expo 2020 Dubai is the extensive economic programme that enables Polish entrepreneurs to establish contacts with trade partners from the Middle East and North Africa. This was developed by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency and a total of nearly 2,500 Polish companies have taken part. Over the first three months at Expo, entrepreneurs have already had the chance to participate in business seminars and have introduced foreign investors to services, technologies and products developed by Polish companies from promising and innovative industries. On the other hand, a series of webinars has been offered to domestic entrepreneurs. These are aimed at representatives of companies that are planning to export goods and services, and establish business relations in the Arab and African countries. An important event for the Polish economy and entrepreneurs was the signing of bilateral agreements, which opens a new chapter in business relations and strengthens ties between Poland and the UAE. The agreements were entered into at the Polish–Arab Economic Forum held on 6 December 2021. An agreement was signed between the Polish Chamber of Commerce and the UAE Federation of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI); between Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI) and KUKE; and between Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, represented by Grzegorz Słomkowski, a member of PAIH’s Management Board.
Opening of the Poland Pavilion
Poland inaugurated its participation in Expo 2020 Dubai on 1 October 2021. The opening was attended by Adrian Malinowski, Commissioner General of the Polish Section Expo 2020 Dubai; Jakub Sławek, Chargé d’Affaires at the Polish Embassy in Abu Dhabi; Artur Kosicki, Marshall of the Podlaskie Region; and Krzysztof Drynda, President of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency. The first temporary exhibition was also on display at the time. The Poland Pavilion is one of the few venues at Expo 2020 Dubai with changing indoor exhibitions.
The Polish–Arab Economic Forum and the Poland Nation Day
The Forum was attended by around 650 representatives of authorities, institutions and businesses from Poland and the Middle East. The Polish government was represented by Grzegorz Piechowiak, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Development and Technology; Waldemar Buda, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy; and Jan Sarnowski, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Finance. Participants of the Polish–Arab Economic Forum attended panels on exports in the context of green energy, the digital economy, applied arts, and food safety. At the same time, various presentations were held to showcase investment offers regarding the infrastructure of the future, as well as possibilities and forms of investing in Poland. At the plenary/treaty session, PAIH signed an agreement with Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), a free trade zone in Dubai. This will help Polish companies establish commercial relations with key global markets. KUKE and ECI entered into an agreement to grant credit support to domestic exporters. The third agreement was made between the Polish Chamber of Commerce and the UAE Federation of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), which will result in establishing the Polish–Emirates Business Forum.
One of the most important events at Expo 2020 Dubai was Polish Day, which took place on 7 December 2021, when Poland had an opportunity to show its potential to the wide international audience visiting Expo. Representatives of the highest state authorities of Poland and of the United Arab Emirates took part in these prestigious cultural events. The Poland National Day coincided with the week-long celebration of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee, the 50th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates. The Poland National Day celebrations at Expo 2020 Dubai were crowned by a concert of Polish music.
Temporary exhibitions at the Poland Pavilion
Podlaskie Region exhibition: ‘Xylopolis. City powered by nature’
The Podlaskie Province and the Ministry of Climate and Environment inaugurated the launch of the programme of temporary regional exhibitions. The core element of the exhibition – ‘Xylopolis. City powered by nature’ (1–24 October 2021) – was a monumental painting (and the largest one in his career) by Professor Leon Tarasewicz, one of the most important contemporary Polish painters. The artwork is almost 46 sqm, and refers to the local landscapes of the Podlasie Region and the tagline of the Polish Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai: ‘Poland. Creativity inspired by nature’. The exhibition is part of a strategy to promote the natural resources of the Podlaskie Region and a vision of the smart city of the future, Xylopolis, where science, culture and art are combined. This way, participants could learn about the natural conditions of the region, the fauna and flora of the Podlasie Region’s forests, and the characteristics of the Narew and Biebrza broads. The exhibition also demonstrated the history of settlement in the region, showed the achievements of folk artists, and presented industries operating in line with the principles of sustainability.
The Polish Space Agency exhibition
In late October, a temporary exhibition of the Polish Space Agency (25–30 October and 11–17 November 2021) replaced the Podlaskie Province display. Visitors were curious to discover the mechanism of the artistic object, Golem, which was the focal point. Marta Flisykowska, author of the installation, was inspired by Stanisław Lem’s idea in his novel ‘Golem XIV’: a self-aware superintelligent computer that processes enormous amounts of data.
The Polish Space Agency exhibition also offered screenings of the film showing Stanisław Lem being honoured by the International Space Station, educational workshops for children, and numerous presentations and film screenings on, among other things, work in the space industry, robotics, analogue space missions, and architecture.
The Polish Space Agency exhibition was preceded by a meeting of the Visegrad Group on 19 October 2021. This focused on investments and a joint development strategy for the space sector of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. The Polish Space Agency also participated in the International Astronautical Congress, the largest industry event of the International Astronautical Federation. An important element of the presentation of the Polish space sector was the seminar ‘Innovations and trends in the space sector’, in which Polish companies demonstrated their innovative technologies and solutions. There was also a B2B session aimed at establishing new business contacts.
Art & Children exhibition
The Poland Pavilion is a child-friendly place. In the special workshop zone, the youngest visitors can use many educational tools provided by Polish companies. The Art & Children exhibition prepared by the Polish artist Sylwia Grochowska was held on 1–5 November 2021. Runvido provided the technology: a mobile application based on augmented reality. This enabled visitors to see fourteen large images, which were animated via an app.
Łódzkie Region exhibition
The tagline of the exhibition organised by the Łódzkie Region was ‘Modernity inspired by nature’. The event showcased the region’s historical traditions and modern technologies in textile creation. Experienced designers, as well as newcomers to the profession, presented their work at the exhibition. Workshops for children attended by folk artists from the region and dance shows with folk music were also very popular. The exhibition was held on 6–10 November 2021.
The Patent Office exhibition
The Poland Pavilion hosted the ‘Creative by Nature’ temporary exhibition, organised by the Polish Patent Office (18 November–1 December 2021). This showcased the most interesting and innovative products of Polish industrial design, art, and design. Among other things, visitors could check how a floating drone operates, admire futuristic furniture designed in Poland, and see numerous examples of the application of modern technologies that are changing the medical market. They could also learn about StethoMe home stethoscopes that detect abnormal sounds in children’s lungs and send the results to a special app. The Pregnabit Pro device for remote CTG testing was also very popular. Concerts by an original musical duo – violinist Karolina Mikołajczyk and accordionist Iwo Jedynecki – added splendour to the exhibition.
Lower Silesia Region exhibition
One of the main features of the Lower Silesia Region exhibition was water. VR technology took visitors to Wrocław’s Centre for Ecological Education, ‘Hydropolis’. The exhibition addressed important topics, including water conservation, raising environmental awareness, and sustainable development. This was held on 2–6 December 2021.
‘The Amazing Land of Quarks, Elephants and Pierogi’ exhibition
A team from the Adam Mickiewicz Institute was behind ‘The Amazing Land of Quarks, Elephants and Pierogi’ exhibition. The team was inspired by the book of the same name, authored by Mikołaj Gliński, Matthew Davies and Adam Żuławski, which includes 100 words introducing Polish culture, tradition, history and nature. The artist Magdalena Burdzyńska took care of the visual aspect of the exhibition, creating pictures that uniquely blend with words, creating a unified image of Poland as an interesting country worth visiting. The aim of ‘The Amazing Land of Quarks, Elephants and Pierogi’ exhibition was also to show the complexity and the beauty of the Polish language. It was held in the Poland Pavilion on 10–16 December 2021.
‘Rituals’ were on display on 17–28 December 2021 in the temporary exhibition area. The display was developed by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, and curated by Katarzyna Kuhak. Its leitmotif was Polish Christmas traditions. It focused on a story related to the tradition of sharing a Christmas wafer. Visitors learnt not only about the historical background of this tradition and its symbolism but also how the wafer itself is baked. The main part of the exhibition was the five contemporary interpretations of the secular Christmas wafer, designed by the best Polish graphic and design studios.
Celebrations of Polish Independence Day were held at the Poland Pavilion on 11 November 2021. The official part began with the singing of the national anthem, followed by speeches by Adrian Malinowski, Commissioner General; Jakub Sławek, Chargé d’Affaires of the Republic of Poland in the UAE; Aleksander Laskowski, Spokesman of the F. Chopin Institute; and Wojciech Nowak, Director of the Warsaw Philharmonic. After the inauguration ceremony, students invited visitors to dance the polonaise. Then, they showcased their ballet, dance and musical talents. There was also a fashion show, and a knowledge quiz about Poland for visitors.
The highlight of the Independence Day celebrations in Dubai was the gala concert. The Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre hosted a record number of performers. Over seventy musicians of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrzej Boreyko performed, among others, compositions by Stanisław Moniuszko and Mieczysław Karłowicz. The performance of Martín García García, a prize-winner of the 18th Chopin Piano Competition, was the focal point of the evening.
International Children’s Day
International Children’s Day was celebrated at the Poland Pavilion on 20 November 2021. The day’s programme included music and dance performances, educational workshops, and face painting. The youngest guests were also introduced to the best-known poems by Polish poets. The ‘EduTech made in Poland. Trends & Innovations’ seminar was also available at the time. Its topics, related to the future of education, were discussed at the meeting, and Polish companies presented their innovative solutions for students, parents and teachers.
Business summary: the Export Centre of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency
The first three months at Expo 2020 Dubai have also resulted in a lot of business outcomes. The Export Centre of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency organised a total of about 500 meetings during that time.
In October, intensive talks were held with potential investors interested in ICT, fintech, hospitality, RES and agtech projects. Numerous contacts were established with representatives of other pavilions, and many meetings were organised in participation with foreign companies interested in cooperating with Polish enterprises that specialise in new technologies. The Polish Investment and Trade Agency also acquired new contacts with institutions, government agencies and chambers of commerce from Oman, Slovakia, Ukraine, Slovenia, India, Lebanon, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, France, Ivory Coast, and the United States. PAIH’s Export Centre organised a number of meetings, including one with a delegation from Botswana, headed by the Minister for Energy Security and Green Technology.
Grzegorz Wrochna, President of the Polish Space Agency, met with President of the Egyptian Space Agency. The space sector also marked its presence at Expo 2020 Dubai with the delegation’s bilateral talks with the Argentine counterpart of the Polish Space Agency: CONAE. There was also a meeting in which fourteen Polish companies and nine Hungarian entrepreneurs from the space sector participated. Many discussions focused on joint activities with representatives of the Slovenian space sector. Furthermore, a meeting was held with the participation of the Director General of the Annual Investment Meeting, the Ministry of Economy of the UAE, and Director General of the Smart Africa Alliance. In October, the Agency’s representatives participated in the World Beauty Show and GITEX trade fairs. Contacts were also acquired during the events: Global Business Forum Africa, EU–GCC Forum, Spotlight on Africa–Infrastructure.
November was also marked by strong Polish business activity. Talks were held with potential investors from MENA countries who had expressed interest in Polish imports, and in projects in the HORECA, furniture, IT, construction, agriculture, and water management sectors. Regular meetings were organised with representatives from other pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai. There were also meetings with representatives of Polish companies from the edutech, agritech, biotech, food and aerospace sectors. Representatives of PAIH’s Export Centre established further contacts with over twenty institutions, government agencies, and chambers of commerce from different parts of the world. Additionally, a meeting was organised between the Polish Aviation Valley and a delegation from Enterprise Armenia. Representatives of the Agency’s Export Centre actively participated in the events organised in other national and business pavilions, the main aim being to determine the investment and export potential of Polish companies. Hydrogen technologies were discussed as well, and talks were held regarding investment opportunities in Mozambique, waste composting technology in Lebanon, or smart building solutions in Slovenia. Building a natural history museum was discussed at the Mexico Pavilion. Representatives of PAIH’s Export Centre also participated in a business meeting at the US Pavilion. In November, contacts were also established with thirty-six different companies from Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Egypt, Bangladesh, Iran, Luxembourg, and many other countries.
In December, talks were held with potential investors from Eastern European countries. Opportunities for tourist cooperation were also sought in participation with representatives of Iran, Slovenia, Tanzania and Senegal. Relations continued with institutions, government agencies, and chambers of commerce from Panama, Chile, Finland, Oman, Albania, Tanzania, Senegal, Hungary and Croatia. Representatives of PAIH’s Export Centre were also among the organisers of Grenton Day on 9 December 2021 when the trade mission of Grenton’s, a smart home business, took place in participation with companies from five countries from the Gulf Cooperation Council. This concluded with the signing of an export contract with a company from Qatar. PAIH’s Export Centre also handled and organised a Country Business Briefing on Poland’s National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai. A conference and a B2B session were held during that event. There were meetings in the Hungarian, US, Slovenian and Croatian Pavilions. PAIH’s representatives also held talks with representatives of sister institutions: the Walloon Export and Foreign Investment Agency, and Business Finland.
The Poland Pavilion was visited by representatives of the highest authorities and institutions from other countries and the commissioners of pavilions participating in the World Exhibition. The meetings were the basis for establishing further contacts, discussing the potential of cooperation and presenting Poland's economic initiatives during Expo 2020 Dubai. In order to build positive relations between Poland and other countries and to promote Poland's presence at the Expo, Adrian Malinowski – Commissioner General of the Polish Section Expo 2020 Dubai, visited dozens of national pavilions and participated in the most important celebrations organized by other countries and the Organizer. The most important ones include the meetings of the Commissioner with: Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan – UAE Minister of Tolerance; Bob Clarke – Commissioner General of the USA; Jan Oraviec – Secretary of State of The Ministry of Finance, Slovakia; Dmitry Mikhailov – Commissioner General of the Russian Federation; Albert Croesi – Commissioner General of the Monaco; Egils Levits – President of the Republic of Latvia; Liz Cameron – President of the Scottish Chamber of Commerce; Gerd Muller – Minister of economic cooperation and development of Germany; Ruben Ramos Arrieta – Vice-president of Cuban Chamber of Commerce; Minoru Fujitsuka – representative of the embassy of Japan; Lefoko Moagi – Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security of the Republic of Botswana; Marie-Geneviève Mounier – Commissioner General of Canada; Trinh Quoc Anh – Director of the Vietnam Pavilion; Justin McGowan – Commissioner General of Australia; Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark and Princess Nina of Greece and Denmark; Margaritis Schinas – Vice-president of the European Commission; Jamal Saif Al Jarwan – Secretary General of The UAE International Investors Council; Omar Shehadeh – Chief International Participant Officer Expo 2020 Dubai.
Summary of media coverage during the first three months at Expo 2020 Dubai
Poland’s activity at Expo 2020 Dubai has received widespread media coverage. The figures bear witness to this. During the first three months of Expo, a total of 3,500 news items appeared. After three months, the information reach of Poland’s participation in Expo amounted to 136 million. The highest number of hits concerning information on Expo 2020 Dubai was recorded on 1 October 2021 (22.5 million) and on 6 December 2021 (7.6 million). Numerous articles and interviews with the Commissioner General and the staff of the Poland Pavilion were published by foreign media, among others Gulf News, Abu Dhabi TV, Khaleej Times, The National, Sky News Arabia, Dubai TV.
The total reach of official social media profiles in the period between 1 October 2021 and 31 December 2021 by channel was over 30 million – Facebook (17,134,547); LinkedIn (390,864); Twitter (134,021); YouTube (1,560,342); Instagram (10,936,406).
A new version of the official website dedicated to Poland’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai was launched ahead of time at: https://expo.gov.pl/. This regularly features information on cultural and business events. The website publishes materials for the media, Expo participants, and business representatives. Strategic sectors of the Polish economy are presented in versatile videos that show Poland’s greatest international successes, as well as in detailed industry reports. Foreign visitors who have had the opportunity to visit the Poland Pavilion can find a lot of information on the website, encouraging them to come to Poland.