Norway breaks ground on its ocean-inspired pavilion

 Expo 2020 Dubai
Expo 2020 Dubai

Resembling a ship, the pavilion aims to emphasise Norway’s pioneering traditions within ocean industries.

“Norway’s aim is to strengthen our position as a world leading ocean nation, and the pavilion is designed to emphasise this both in outlook and content,” says Ole Johan Sandvær, Norway’s Commissioner General.

Early June, he led a delegation that visited the Expo 2020 Dubai site to break ground on the Norwegian pavilion. The ground breaking ceremony included the Norwegian ambassador to the UAE, Expo 2020 Dubai representatives, and Morten Fon, CEO of Jotun and Chairman of the board of the Norwegian participation at Expo 2020.

Inspired by Scandinavian shipbuilding traditions

The pavilion is designed as a ship to convey Norway’s role as an ocean nation. The architects behind the pavilion design, Rintala-Eggertsson Architects, found inspiration in old Scandinavian shipbuilding traditions. The pavilion is named ‘Knarr’, the Old Norse term for a type of ship built for long sea voyages and used during the Viking expansion. It therefore symbolises travels to overcome challenges and reach unknown destinations, which are equally relevant today as during the Viking ages.
The exterior of the pavilion is clad with facade panels in recycled aluminium, representing the strong industrial heritage from Norway. A request for tender will shortly be announced for the interior design. This is due to be decided in the Autumn.

Presenting technology-based solutions to ocean challenges

Never before has the world had more concerns and attention directed towards ocean-related issues. Norway will use Expo 2020 Dubai to share its knowledge and innovations within technology-based solutions for the sustainable use of the ocean, including energy, aquaculture, fisheries, shipping and maritime sectors. All will be showcased in the Norwegian pavilion throughout Expo 2020 in a playful and interactive way.

For the first time, Norway will bring together three crucial concepts in a comprehensive way:

  • The Norwegian Government’s ‘Ocean Strategy’
  • The Explorer – a digital marketplace for sustainable technology
  • The Brand Norway strategy - a unified effort to strengthen the Norwegian nation brand


Contact details: Anne Line Kaxrud, senior communications advisor at Innovation Norway, ankax@innovationnorway.no, +47 90 66 07 44

Notes to editor:

  • Norway’s theme is the ocean. The pavilion and events throughout Expo 2020 will focus on sustainable solutions within the ocean industries
  • Norway pioneers technology-based sustainable solutions for the ocean within energy, aquaculture, fisheries, shipping and the maritime sector