US Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai to feature hyperloop ride experience

Pavilion USA 2020 has revealed details of the American pavilion at the world expo

Details have emerged of the US Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai [pictured here is the pavilion's atrium. Image courtesy Pavilion USA 2020].
Details have emerged of the US Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai [pictured here is the pavilion's atrium. Image courtesy Pavilion USA 2020].

Virgin Hyperloop One will “premiere its hyperloop ride experience” at Expo 2020 Dubai’s US Pavilion, it has been revealed by Pavilion USA 2020, the consortium working on the project. American architect Curtis W Fentress has designed the project, and George P Johnson Experiental Marketing (GPJ), a Detroit-based firm, is working on “a tour of the American experiences” for the US Pavilion.

Pavilion USA 2020 features food and beverage (F&B) giant Pepsico as its lead sponsor and official beverage partner. During the event, held in Dubai on 28 November, 2018, Pavilion USA 2020 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with AmCham Dubai, AmCham Abu Dhabi, and US-UAE Business Council to promote “the shared goal of engaging the private sector in a history-making US pavilion”.

The consortium said it will “operate under the most comprehensive set of financial controls ever implemented for a US expo pavilion”.

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California-based Virgin Hyperloop One’s “first experience reveal marks the beginning of a multi-year global engagement campaign that will spotlight the innovations” planned to be showcased at Expo 2020 Dubai’s US Pavilion when the world expo opens on 20 October, 2020.

Design management services for the project will be provided by Virginia-based Giuliani Associates Architects, an architecture, engineering, and technology firm. Onuma Inc, Thornton Tomasetti, and Syska Hennessey Group will join Giuliani, GPJ, and Fentress on the project.

Dr Jay Wang, director of the Centre on Public diplomacy at America’s University of Southern California, will provide pavilion design strategy, as well as monitoring and evaluation services on a consultation basis for Pavilion USA 2020. Financial management services will be delivered by BTG’s chief financial officer, Thomas Downing, with Pavilion USA 2020 set to work with Maryland-based Gelmn Rosenberg & Freedman for the project.

The launch event also kicked off the outreach campaign of Pavilion USA 2020, and its website,, was also launched. The pavilion’s curation team will focus on youth engagement through Stem and Steam initiatives, with partners such as New York University Abu Dhabi’s Innovation Lab, TechStars Dubai, and Buzz Aldrin Space Institute.

In a statement shared by the US Pavilion’s team, it was revealed that the Pavilion USA 2020 consortium comprises American architecture, experiential, communications, diplomacy, academic, financial management, and fundraising firms. These companies will design, build, operate, and decommission the pavilion after being picked by the US Department of State after “a competitive nation-wide request for proposal process”.

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The Honoroable Frederick M Bush and Gregory D Houston, respectively chairman and chief executive officer of Pavilion USA 2020, released a joint statement commenting on the pavilion: “This pavilion provides a unique platform for our nation to come together to showcase the very best of our cultural and commercial achievements. We are committed to the prudent and responsible management of a pavilion that engages the world with the incredible diversity and innovations that define the United States of America.”

US Consul General in Dubai, Philip Frayne, and director of the US Department of State’s expo unit, James Core, representing the American government, said: “We are excited by Pavilion USA 2020’s release of the first designs of the US pavilion and the announcement of their first sponsors. This is an important step in the United States’ journey to Expo 2020 Dubai. We encourage other companies, cultural, and philanthropic organisations, and citizens to learn more about opportunities to get involved.”

DESIGN FOCUS: Expo 2020 Dubai's country pavilions

Architect Fentress added: “Today we’re looking at an expo that is related to mobility, movement, travel, [and] sustainability – things that are very important to the world today. We have designed this building to be circular in form with slants fashioned to project a sensation of movement, making the viewer feel like the building itself is in motion. And then, once you enter the building, it opens up to what the United States stands for: we are an open, accessible country where you can live to create ideas.

“It showcases all the things we are doing in America: developing technology and concepts that are going to move us forward in the future. Designing this pavilion is a tremendous responsibility – one we take very seriously as we will be showcasing America and American ideas to over 25 million people expected to visit the expo.”

Executive producer of the pavilion, David Rich, and its creative director, Paul Hemsworth, from GPJ, said that American “mobility innovations are improving the lives of individuals all over the world”.

Rich added: “Along with our sister agencies Spinifex and G7, we’ll be immersing visitors in an unparalleled experience of ‘mobility innovation’, from physical to digital to socio-economic, as brought to fruition by our richly diverse population of thinkers, creators, and doers who are remaking American business while helping to fuel progress around the globe.

“With this [world expo] returning to the theme of innovation, and with the effort the Expo 2020 Dubai organisation and the broader region is putting toward making this a global marketplace, this is an unprecedented opportunity for American companies to share their innovations with the world. We are honoured to serve them, our country, and the expo in helping to make it happen.”

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AmCham Dubai president, Anne Jaffrey, AmCham Abu Dhabi chairman, Sharief Fahmy, and US-UAE Business Council president, Danny E Sebright, also released a joint statement commenting on the project, which read: “Today’s MoU serves as the platform from which our members can come together in support of the US Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“We are pleased to work closely to ensure the bilateral business communities between our two nations are fully engaged in this important effort. As a commercial priority of the US and the UAE, there are few opportunities more deserving of our full support.”

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