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Visit Ireland From The Heart Of Expo 2020

Discover the best of a country with a deeply rooted heritage of ingenuity, imagination and innovation…

Ireland, an island of inspiration and creativity, is bringing its famed hospitality to the UAE during Expo 2020 through its jaw-dropping pavilion. For what can be described as the world’s greatest show, the country of a thousand welcomes has come up with a ‘Putting Creativity at the Centre of Human Experience in the 21st Century’ theme. And Dubai’s residents or those visiting the emirate are guaranteed to have a never to be forgotten experience.

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The Building

The pavilion, which is designed by Irish architect Ciarán O’ Connor, draws inspiration from classical western and Islamic architectural traditions. The building plan is made up of two conjoined, square elements, with one that is fully enclosed and climate-controlled. The second is a cloistered courtyard, and to one side is an enclosed room, with a glazed wall to the courtyard, which houses the permanent exhibition, “We Are The Makers.” The must-visit exhibition highlights what Irish culture, art, literature, music and song is all about.

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The Oculus Room

The Oculus Room, found on entering the pavilion, is where visitors can enjoy a short, high impact, immersive, visual and vocal experience of Irish culture, while stressing the theme for Expo 2020. And this is followed by a striking digital display of the breath-taking Irish landscape on a slow-moving loop.

“We are very excited to welcome visitors from across the globe to our inspiring pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. We have an exciting programme which celebrates Irish creativity in all its many forms. You will be informed, be entertained and above you will be given a warm Irish welcome,” Commissioner General of Ireland Pavilion, Pat Hennessy, says, “Our visitors will see the exciting work of talented Irish designers, innovators and inventors. The pavilion will offer a host of workshops for visitors of all ages whether you want to be part of our Coderdojo groups, or to learn more about Irish music and culture.”

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The Courtyard

The Courtyard is where visitors can relax and enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and regular music performances from The Expo Players, the pavilion’s in-house ensemble performing Irish music. The Expo Players, made up of differing young Irish musical talent, will introduce visitors to Irish music, its history, instruments and stories. They will also create their own interpretations of songs from the Irish Songbook in engaging performances that will reveal the background to and history of the songs. With musicians rotating monthly, the Expo Players are sure to offer audiences an authentic insight into the Irish music scene.

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Key Events

Led and created by conductor David Brophy, The Expo World Choir at Jubilee Park will be taking place in December. Whether Expo staff hosts or guests, everyone can enjoy this incredible project that really captures Expo’s collective and collaborative ethos. The Christmas special will feature a specially created musical ensemble, guest singers and the Expo World Choir, performing the great Irish Songbook in a unique international gathering. The song list will range from “You Raise Me Up” to U2’s “One” and festive favourites. The choir will be selected, mobilised and coached online by David Brophy in the weeks preceding the event.

On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on March 17, the Ireland pavilion will host a variety of engaging events throughout the day to showcase the lively spirit of the country. A key National Day highlight will see Martin Hayes, one of Ireland’s most revered traditional musicians, lead a specially created concert. It will explore Irish music from its roots right through to a highly charged, contemporary rendition of traditional forms. Plus, special guests will perform traditional Irish music and songs from the Irish Songbook, including classics from U2, The Cranberries, Hozier, Snow Patrol and The Corrs.

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Creative workshops will take place at The Hamilton Room, situated in the heart of the pavilion. The room is providing a hub for a wide range of cultural, business and diplomatic conversations, connections and engagements throughout the six months Expo is on for. Visitors aged between 7 and 17 can enjoy free programming workshops lead by Coder Dojo, the global volunteer lead coding initiative for the youth community. CoderDojo’s work encapsulates the Expo theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.’ It also demonstrates the inherently creative nature of coding, so it adds another dimension to the pavilion’s theme of putting creativity at the centre of human experience in the 21st century.

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Chester Beatty

Chester Beatty is the pre-eminent Irish museum promoting the appreciation and understanding of world cultures with manuscripts, rare books, and other treasures from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Asia. It will provide displays and workshops at the pavilion, in addition to contributing to intercultural and multi-cultural discussion at Expo 2020.

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Royal Irish Academy

The Royal Irish Academy will host a series of panel discussions featuring academics, creative practitioners, activists, public policy figures and politicians. Coinciding with the centenary of the Irish state, Expo 2020 provides an opportunity to showcase how creativity is an organising principle in Irish life. Visitors can get an insight into how, at different times in the state’s history, creativity in political, economic, scientific and cultural spheres led to positive change and at other times its absence has stalled progressive developments.

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