Dubai Expo 2020

The postponed 2020 World Expo is currently taking place in Dubai (1st October 2021 to 31st March 2022). With over 200 pavilions and 192 countries exhibiting, the global 6-month event is expected to attract 25 million visitors.

Tricon Foodservice Consultants are delighted to have been involved with the F&B Strategy and full design for three of the Expo’s main pavilions; the Mobility Pavilion, the Sustainability Pavilion, and the Leadership Pavilion.

Tricon were also involved in numerous country pavilions. These were management-led as opposed to design. Our management consultants received the details from the clients and produced Catering related operational brief to be taken forward by the separate countries.

The Mobility and Sustainability pavilions were for the general public but could also hold VIP events specifically on their roof terraces. These were a mix of casual dining outlets and kiosks that were served via a main kitchen within each pavilion. Tricon were also involved in the waste management strategy for the pavilions.

The Leadership pavilion was the Prince of Dubai’s private hospitality and dining pavilion. This included the Royal Dining Room and accommodation for which Tricon included support pantries and kitchens. All food is prepared off-site and comes from the palace kitchens in sealed food trolleys and received at the pavilion’s support kitchens for finishing/re-heating and service.

The F&B Strategy for all the Pavilions was defined by the site-wide F&B Strategy as well as the Dubai Municipality Food Code. The latter sets high standards for kitchen and support areas, particularly in relation to segregation of clean and dirty flows. The Code requires physical segregation of incoming food from outgoing waste and a one-way flow through the kitchen without crossover.

The design and strategy of all the Pavilions was two-fold. After the Expo, a secondary use for the Pavilions needed to be considered. Many are already earmarked to become hotels, residential accommodation, commercial space, and offices. Tricon hopes to be involved with the ‘in Legacy’ work and during the initial proposals demonstrated how the foodservice areas could covert from one use to another. For example, the café in the Mobility Pavilion will remain in Legacy and will become a general restaurant open to all tenants and users of the building.

Working on the Mobility Pavilion proposal, alongside Foster + Partners Architects in London, Tricon designed the main kitchen comprising a decanting area, chilled, ambient and frozen stores including cold rooms, a walk-in freezer, a dry goods store, beverages cold room and ambient store, disposables storage, and cleaners’ and COSHH storage, a preparation area, kitchen, utensil washing, holding cold room, and ice making and storage. There is also a 368-cover café on the Lower Ground Floor and the Ground Floor, a VIP Hospitality Lounge and numerous kiosks throughout the Pavilion, each with its own brief, theme and menu.

The Sustainability Pavilion, overseen by Grimshaw Architects in New York, also comprises a casual dining operation, various kiosks, VIP Hospitality and Roof Terrace. Original proposals for the Roof Terrace were for it to be used as an event space, which could be for private events during Expo or linked to the larger Expo hospitality provision. It could also be used by several caterers with the diary being managed centrally by Expo and then in Legacy transferring to the management of the Pavilion. However, Tricon proposed that the operation on the Roof Terrace should be developed as a Lounge Bar with the potential to support events. This maximises the use of the space and its all-day use, especially in Expo, taking advantage of the fine views and the distinctiveness of the environment.

The Leadership Pavilion, directed by Smith Gill Architecture in Chicago, is a complex series of support pantries and kitchens. The basement area supports the food & beverage services at the Pavilion. The primary function in the basement is to receive food & beverage supplies from Zabeel Palace, hold them in temperature-controlled storage, some plating or setting out, and washing dirty ware. On the Ground Floor of the Leadership Pavilion there is a large Royal Majlis –used as pre-function area during Royal Dining, or separately for entertaining; a large Royal Dining Room–used for seated plated dining OR buffet stylefor140 seated guests, as well as Small Hospitality Majlis and Small Hospitality Dining for 24 guests.

Level 1 has pantries to provide beverages and meeting support to support the Executive Boardroom, HH Majlis/office and meeting room, other offices and the roof terrace. They can support beverages and light finger foods into meetings.

Levels 3 to 5 provide accommodation bedroom suites. There is a room service kitchen incorporated into the Basement Level which supports light meals, snacks and beverages to the accommodation levels.

The Royal Suite on Level 6has its own kitchen which has dual use by chefs from Zabeel to support formal entertaining and as a domestic kitchen for use by the Royal family.

Tricon Project Director Jason Farrer admits the sheer size and scale of the entire Dubai Expo project is one of the largest combined projects the company has ever been involved in. He said, “To be a part of the larger team providing F&B provisions to the Expo’s expected 25 million visitors is extraordinary! Each of the 200+ pavilions had their own architect, brief and unique requirements that needed to be met, all whilst keeping within the site-wide F&B Strategy and the Dubai Municipality Food Code.

“Our team rose to the occasion and provided detailed proposals that not only met, but in some cases, exceeded the brief requirements. To see it all come together and the Expo finally open its doors is really exciting.

“We’re hoping our involvement doesn’t stop here however and that we will be appointed to work on the Legacy projects after the Expo finishes at the end of March.”