DUBAI, 19 November 2021 – An upbeat 60-member Haiming marching band greeted Expo 2020 Dubai visitors on Austria’s National Day on Friday, as performers in feathered green hats and traditional red waistcoats blared on brass instruments and beat their drums to familiar tunes.
Her Excellency Margarete Schramböck, Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs of the Republic of Austria, was welcomed by His Excellency Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade and Minister in charge of Talent Attraction and Retention at the Ministry of Economy, accompanied by Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director Commissioner General’s Office, Expo 2020 Dubai, and His Excellency Ibrahim Salim Al Musharrakh, UAE Ambassador to Austria.
HE Margarete Schramböck, said: “Firstly, let me congratulate [the UAE] on your anniversary, to 50 years of innovation and development that is so impressive and can be experienced here today at this expo.”
“I’m very proud that we have brought… the Austrian government here [to] you and I’m also proud that we have brought the biggest delegation of companies ever. This marks our friendship and our cooperation [with the UAE] and the work that we do together to save the lives of future generations, to make their lives easier and better. With innovation and technology, this is possible. But, it’s also about people. It’s about working together, it’s about having a vision, and it’s about putting a lot of effort into bringing this vision to life. It’s about people that are in the centre of everything we do and it’s people who have made this possible and have come from all over the world [to Expo 2020] to work together as teams and we are very proud to be one of these teams.”
Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali said: “Under the theme ‘Austria Makes Sense’, the pavilion’s unique design creates links between the innovative thinking of our region and that of Austria by combining Arab building traditions with Austrian know-how to reduce energy consumption by up to 70 per cent. The pavilion design also positions Austria not only as a country rich in culture and natural beauty, but also as a world leader in digitalisation, high-tech, science and research.
“The exhibition contains an iLab and showcases the best of Austrian companies and research institutions, which promote Austria’s knowledge-based economy and brings to light its world-renowned dual training system in education, one of the key growth sectors in the UAE.
“It is safe to say that there is strong economic interdependence between our two nations. As such, we hope to build on existing partnerships between our two countries and expand our collaborative efforts across multiple sectors, of mutual interest such as health, education, renewable energy and culture.”
The National Day celebrations also included a performance by violinist and composer Yury Revich, who played on a violin from 1709. The programme included some of Revich’s original pieces, as well as rearranged works from Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Vivaldi and Johanna Doderer
Revich was joined by prima ballerina Natascha Mair for a graceful dance, as well as by pianist Yuliya Draganova and an ensemble in a special performance, merging Austria’s history and tradition with a creative look at the country’s future and innovation. Artist Martin Tardy impressed visitors with a live portrait drawing using two markers simultaneously, without lifting his hands from the page.
Located in the Opportunity District, the heat-regulating Austria Pavilion is constructed entirely from humankind’s oldest building material: loam – a soil of sand and clay. The dozens of truncated cones that make up the pavilion use thermodynamics to pull in cool air from below and push warm air out the top, providing a natural climate-control mechanism. The iLab showcases advanced solutions for a better tomorrow while visitors can also sample delicious pastries at the Vienna coffeehouse.
National and Honour Days at Expo 2020 Dubai are moments to celebrate each of the 200-plus International Participants, shining a light on their culture and achievements and showcasing their pavilions and programming. Each features a flag-raising ceremony at the Stage of Nations in Al Wasl Plaza, followed by speeches and cultural performances.
Running until 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 invites visitors from across the planet to join the making of a new world in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.