K-pop shows and a vertical cinema at South Korea's Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion

The Asian nation will honour its vibrant culture and love of technology

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South Korea’s pavilion will 'come to life' at Expo 2020 Dubai with more than 1,000 spinning cubes making up the facade of the three-storey structure.

The 1,597 multi-coloured cubes on the roof will spin to create patterns and form words.

The East Asian country has truly embraced mobility, one of the sub-themes of this year's fair, with a design that will promise an ever-changing experience for visitors.

Located in the Mobility District, the structure spans 5,200 square metres and is the Expo's fifth-largest pavilion.

It has the theme 'Smart Korea, Moving the World to you’ and will illustrate the country’s culture through architecture, exhibitions and performances.

South Korea is world famous for its pop bands, tech giants, Korean dramas and kimchi, and this and more will be celebrated during the six-month fair.

Ahead of Expo 2020 Dubai's grand opening on October 1, The National had a tour of the spinning cube pavilion.

K-pop concerts

The entrance of the pavilion leads visitors into a spacious courtyard, where daily K-pop concerts will take place. Global K-pop band Stray Kids were chosen as the pavilion ambassador.

Over six months, 1,800 shows will be performed, with ten taking place daily.

Bleacher-style seating will cater for a large number of fans and ‘floating’ LED screens will create light shows.

The Madang, a Korean-style courtyard, will also feature breakdancing and traditional performances.

During Korean National Day celebrations on January 16, several K-pop concerts will take place at the Al Wasl Plaza. The full line-up is expected to be announced in November.

Vertical cinema

Another highlight is the vertical cinema that will illustrate Korea’s smart mobility, culture and lifestyle.

Visitors can lie down on beanbags and watch as the roof and front wall transform into a giant cinema screen.

The experience is almost 3D, with Korean characters “popping out of the walls and walking around the room”.

Climbing the structure

Visitors can go on a walking tour on the actual façade of the building to see the spinning cubes up close and stunning views of the Mobility District and Al Wasl Plaza.

Four ramps have been built on the exterior to create a ‘virtual realm meets reality’ experience.

Several stopping points include an augmented reality experience, where visitors can use their smartphones – provided to them at the start of the tour – to see Korea’s vision of smart mobility.

On the third floor, thousands of flipping screens, identical to the split-flap displays that are found at train stations or airports, represent movement.

Korean restaurant and shopping

A Korean restaurant will serve more than 20 different traditional and contemporary dishes, including bulgogi (marinated beef), bibimbap (rice with assorted vegetables) and buldak noodles (spicy stir-fried noodles).

A souvenir shop will stock 300 Korean products, including traditional arts and crafts, groceries and innovative products.

Updated: September 28, 2021, 7:59 AM