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'Sense of urgency' to fund, build Expo 2020 Dubai's US Pavilion

Pavilion USA 2020 official reportedly says construction work has yet to begin as funding is sought from corporations, foundations

Pavilion USA 2020, the American pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai.
CW Archives / Supplied
Pavilion USA 2020, the American pavilion of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Steven McCarthy, chairman and chief executive officer of Além International Management, an American company picked by the US’s State Department as Implementation Partner for Pavilion USA 2020 – America’s country pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai, planned to feature experiences around Virgin Hyperloop One's technology – said time is of the essence to build Expo 2020 Dubai’s US Pavilion, on which construction has reportedly yet to begin.

Speaking to Construction Week’s sister title Arabian Business, McCarthy said funding had yet to be secured for Pavilion USA 2020, on which the team had originally intended to begin construction by now.

Além is targeting major corporations that have discretionary funding available for projects such as Expo 2020 Dubai’s US Pavilion, as well as charitable foundations like Gates Foundation and Buffer Foundation.

Mark Giuliani, resident of Virginia-based Giuliani Associates – named design management partner for Pavilion USA 2020 – told Construction Week in November 2018 that groundbreaking on the American pavilion was planned for mid-2019, with completion planned for June 2020.

I’m not panicked about it. We’ve just got to be very selective about who can mobilise not just the money.

To date, no construction work has been carried out at the site of Pavilion USA 2020, Arabian Business reported.

McCarthy reportedly said: “It’s possible to get this done still. We’d originally hoped we’d get a shovel in the ground about now, but we need to make sure this is going to be fully funded before we do that.

“We felt [corporations] would be the ones that would come to the table with the amount of money needed to build the pavilion and build programming into it, run it, manage it, and take it down at the end of the expo.”

McCarthy said foundations may not have “such a high expectation of commercial” returns on investment, but their “abiding interest in a continuing relationship with the UAE and the GCC in general” may drive their investment.

He reportedly continued: “There is [a sense of urgency], not only because of funding, but because of the development of programming a company, individual or partner might want to have. A lot of companies might have discretionary funding available for something like this.

“Most US-based companies might have discretionary funding available for something like this. We’re trying to find those companies that have some flexibility in their spending and still see a long-term interest to participate in this as a partner or sponsor.

“I’m not panicked about it,” McCarthy added.

“We’ve just got to be very selective about who can mobilise not just the money, but the content and programming for their own marketing potential.”

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