A collaboration between Dubai Expo 2020 and Cartier, the Women’s Pavilion is the first of its kind in over half a century at a World Fair–here’s what you’ll find inside.
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Cartier has been actively involved in championing the abilities of women all over the world. Most notable is the Cartier Women’s Initiative, now in its fifteenth year which has given away hundreds of thousands of pounds in grants to female entrepreneurs. Bringing their advocacy to a global scale, their latest achievement is the Women’s Pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020 that’s already making history.
The first world fair to be held in the Middle East, it has been coined as the world’s greatest show with a record 191 participating countries. And found in the Sustainability District is a pavilion with a delicate, jewelry-box structure by Cartier that at night, lights up the desert sky like a lantern. But instead of jewelry and watches being sold inside, you’ll find faces and stories of women told through films and exhibitions, all celebrating the core of the brand: female empowerment.
“Created by women, for women”-the pavilion’s features the work of several global talents such Paris-based interior architect Laura Gonzalez, who has been a longtime partner of the house, creating several Cartier boutiques and responsible for its art-deco façade, together with Dubai-born artist Kholoud Sharafi and French light designer Pauline David. While French-Tunisian eL Seed’s poems about female activists, and the works of actresses and directors Nadine Labaki and Mélanie Laurent is showcased inside.
The decision to hold the first-ever Women’s Pavilion in UEA also holds huge historical resonance with the country’s continues fight for women’s rights. Real-life stories of women in Arabia and Islam will be highlighted and through the pavilion’s inclusive “Majlis” which means “council meeting place”, artists, scientists, thought leaders, politicians, and entrepreneurs, will be able to engage in dialogue to create a cleaner and safer planet. Cartier will then culminate the event on International Women’s Day in March 2020 with a global forum themed “New Perspective.” All of this efforts is to remind the world of an important principle: when women thrive, all of humanity thrives.
The Women’s Pavilion has five structures with different narratives located on the ground floor–here’s a tour inside each room.
This opening section expresses the purpose of the Pavilion through the eyes of children in a film directed by Nadin Labaki, the first female Arab director to be nominated for an Oscar. This open the visitors’ perspective on women’s contribution as they venture inside.
The next room will immerse the visitors in a cosmic universe. Each constellation in its star-lit wall tells a story of a female figure and her contributions to society from challenging inequality, redefining diplomacy, championing women’s rights in different fields, and devoting their lives to humanity and protecting the planet.
Guests will then be taken to the challenges room which displays the current barriers that women still face such as lack of education, gaining a seat at political tables, the gender gap in financial and social security, harassment, and even basic needs with the impact of COVID-19.
Made to encourage visitors to actively take part in addressing all the challenges presented beforehand, the solution room provides concrete examples in which visitors can take part. Whether improving gender diversity in the workplace or speaking up, visitors will be invited to take a photo at their chosen pledge and share it on social media under the #ActforEqual campaign.
Curated by French actress, screenwriter, and director, Mélanie Laurent, the upper floor is also an immersive exhibition of women from around the world with virtual-reality films, sculptures, and exclusive photographs.
The Women’s Pavilion in collaboration with Cartier is located on Ghaf Avenue at Dubai Expo 2020. It will be open from October 1, 2021 to March 22, 2022.