An architectural expression of 'Resourceful Luxembourg' Commissioner general Maggy Nagel takes us on a virtual tour through the Luxembourg pavilion.

From 1 October, visitors will be pouring into the Expo 2020 Dubai. Visitors of the Luxembourg Pavilion will experience Luxembourg with all their senses, including even the fragrance of its lush forests. But most importantly, the country’s resourcefulness, its innovative spirit and its commitment towards circularity will become evident. All of this is rounded off by a range of national gastronomic specialties and cultural highlights. Pavilion commissioner Maggy Nagel took us on a (virtual) pre-opening tour.

The Luxembourg Pavilion is showcasing the country’s many advantages, be they the high quality of life, the tourist hotspots or its commitment as an international business-friendly partner. The federating theme that was chosen is that of ‘Resourceful Luxembourg’. What resources do visitors discover here?

A visit of the Luxembourg Pavilion at EXPO 2020 DUBAI will provide every visitor a comprehensive view of Luxembourg as a country and what it stands for.

The ambulatory and immersive scenography will take you on a surprising journey through 5 thematic spaces: Luxembourg’s diversity, its connectivity to the world, the country’s entrepreneurial spirit, the far-reaching commitment to sustainability and the country’s fondness of its traditions and beautiful nature.

A visit to the pavilion will appeal to the 5 senses: Sight will be appealed by the pavilion’s architecture and scenography. During the visitors’ exploration journey, they’ll listen to the sounds of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra and interact with elements of the scenography. By the end of the tour, they’ll enjoy the smell that represents Luxembourg’s lush woods, and the giant slide (a nod to our traditional fair dating back to the Late Middle Ages) will take them to the pavilion’s restaurant where they can enjoy Luxembourg fusion cuisine prepared by our Michelin-starred chef Kim de Dood.

Our event programme at the Luxembourg Pavilion is yet another way to promote Luxembourg’s resourcefulness and surprising variety. It was very important to us to showcase Luxembourg’s involvement in the world in many different areas.

The theme was chosen specifically because it represents one of the key components of our country: what is so resourceful about it?

As a small country, Luxembourg continuously reinvented itself to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. Luxembourg always knew how to combine its human, natural, technical, industrial, and financial resources to create its future.

Thanks to the smart use of resources, the country moved from an agricultural country to an industrial power and a global financial center with a redirection towards research, digital technologies, and space industries. It’s this dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit that helps us to create solutions to upcoming challenges in the imminent future.

Thus, by choosing the theme of 'Resourceful Luxembourg' we are not only showcasing Luxembourg’s remarkable economic transition in the past. The Pavilion’s theme of 'Resourceful Luxembourg' can be understood as a commitment to administer our resources in a way that contributes to a better world for all of us. Luxembourg’s resources can be others’ valuable opportunities in the future. Therefore, if the Pavilion is located in the Opportunity District at EXPO 2020, it’s for a good reason!

A showcase for Luxembourg's innovative spirit and resourcefulness

The pavilion is located in the 'Opportunity' district of the Expo 2020 in Dubai, a fitting location for a scenography about the country's resourcefulness.

The architects of the METAFORM studio are the creative minds behind this imposing edifice. The building is 50 metres wide and 21 metres high, and its exterior is coated in easily recyclable materials. The 2,100m2 foundations are made of concrete; the rest is made of insulation and plasterboard. The building can be dismantled without complications and all the materials can be separated easily.

Some of the country’s most beautiful examples of its resourcefulness will come to Dubai as part of the cultural programme. Which highlights are you looking forward to most?

Indeed, our event calendar will be a splendid testimonial of Luxembourg’s diversity in terms of resources. Paired with our ambitious economic promotion programme, the Luxembourg Pavilion will be the source of long-lasting opportunities, relations, and exchange.

The cultural programme during the Luxembourg Cultural Week (20-25 Jan 2022) will certainly be a highlight! Under the concept of Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir ginn [we want to remain what we become, the editor], the artistic collective expresses the idea of linking the past to the future. The identity of a nation allows to create its future. To define and set a direction for a country without knowing its national identity, which is subjective and constantly changing, seems impossible. Including Luxembourg’s rich artistic scene will be key to convey this message.

For the international public, the 'Luxembourg Day' on 23 January 2022 will yet another way to promote Luxembourg’s resourcefulness, its cultural heritage, and its surprising variety.

Another of the highlights is the culinary programme, which includes a Michelin-starred chef and staff from Luxembourg’s renowned hotel school. Which specialties should visitors give a try?

A visit to the Pavilion Restaurant Schengen Lounge shouldn’t be missed under any circumstances! Under the direction of Michelin-starred chef Kim Kevin de Dood, a menu has been designed that sends visitors on a culinary discovery voyage of Luxembourg's diversity... in gastronomic terms!

Influenced and inspired by the international communities living in Luxembourg, star chef Kim Kevin de Dood, created a signature menu that reveals some of Luxembourg’s most popular dishes... in combination with unexpected and modern flavours.

Thanks to the excellent cooperation with the École d'Hôtellerie et de Tourisme du Luxembourg [Luxembourg's Hotel and Tourism School, the editor], a total of 36 students will be working in the restaurant, giving them a unique opportunity to present Luxembourg gastronomy on an international stage.

I am particularly looking forward to the gourmet version of Kniddelen with duck breast, as well as the newly conceived Quetschentaart with frangipani flavors and Verwurelter with pinecone sugar.

The architectural form chosen is that of a Möbius-strip, a design created by the Luxembourg architects at Metaform. What was the concept behind this choice?

The Möbius-strip is an infinite loop and can be considered as the architectural expression of the theme of 'Resourceful Luxembourg' Indeed, the infinite form is symbolical for the country’s redirection towards circular economy, its openness and dynamism.

The infinite form also represents the infinite opportunities that Luxembourg’ resourcefulness offers to its citizens, visitors, entrepreneurs, and global companies.

Finally, the infinite loop is also an ode towards Luxembourg’s continuous reinvention.

Commissioner general Maggy Nagel has accompanied the pavilion project since its inception.
GIE Luxembourg @ EXPO 2020 DUBAI

Commissioner General Maggy Nagel

A former member of the Luxembourg Government and mayor of her hometown of Mondorf-les-Bains, Maggy Nagel was called upon to become Commissioner General of the Pavilion in 2016. Since then, she tirelessly dedicated herself not only to the conception and construction of the Pavilion, but also to the promotion Luxembourg’s presence at the Expo 2020 Dubai in Luxembourg

As impassioned ambassador and advocate of Luxembourg’s cultural heritage, Maggy Nagel appreciates the Grand Duchy’s participation at EXPO 2020 DUBAI as an unparalleled opportunity to reveal Luxembourg’s resources to the world.

Luxembourg has shifted much effort towards the establishment of a circular economy. In that spirit, can you tell us what is going to happen to this pavilion after the World Fair ends?

It has been decided to gift the Luxembourg Pavilion to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Gifting our emblematic pavilion is in perfect alignment with our main objectives for EXPO 2020 DUBAI. Not only does the second life of the Luxembourg pavilion constitute a further step towards our concern of sustainability, it’s also yet another evidence of our excellent relations with the UAE.

In that sense, Luxembourg’s presence will go beyond the six months of EXPO 2020 DUBAI. Gifting the pavilion to the UAE is therefore a wonderful way to keep the source of bilateral opportunity creation alive.

With its suggestive architecture, the pavilion is a symbol of Luxembourg’s dynamism and openness. Therefore, the gesture also translates as a warm invitation to all citizens of the UAE and the Middle East to come explore our beautiful country.

What is your personal architectural highlight of the Pavilion?

My very personal highlight of the Pavilion is that we managed to create a truly coherent concept and reflection of Luxembourg’s spirit.

Every aspect of the Pavilion can be understood as a perpetuation of the idea of circularity, continuous reinvention, and Luxembourg’s resourcefulness. The architecture, the ambulatory scenography, the sensorial experience of the visit… none can be dissected out. All of them play an essential role in conveying Luxembourg’s dynamism, openness, and diversity in terms of resources.