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Winning Sabeel 2020 designs to inspire innovative drinking fountains across Expo 2020 site, celebrating UAE values and heritage

• Contemporary ideas from two UAE-based designers chosen from 100+ submissions
• Winners to create 53 fountains to offer fresh drinking water to millions at Expo
• Sabeel 2020 captures UAE spirit and highlights value of water for sustainable living

Two UAE-based design teams have been selected to showcase their innovative blends of contemporary art and Emirati heritage through creative interpretations of the traditional drinking fountain – sabeel – that will offer fresh drinking water to millions of visitors across the Expo 2020 Dubai site.

The designs, chosen by an international jury as winners of the Sabeel 2020 design contest, were submitted by Architecture + Other Things and design team Faissal El-Malak and Alia Bin Omair. Multidisciplinary firm Tinkah also received an honourable mention in the competition.

Each of the winning teams will receive a prize of AED 100,000, and the designers will have the opportunity to work with worldclass Expo 2020 architects and engineers to adapt their interpretations into 53 fountains across the Expo 2020 site, imaginatively capturing the spirit of the UAE and the region’s cultural values, while highlighting the importance of water for sustainable living.

Launched in July 2019 as part of a collaboration between Expo 2020 and Art Jameel, initiative by regional creative community to propose and submit concepts that reenvisage the sabeel 2020 in celebrating a cultural icon in the region and to provide fresh drinking water to the visitors on the occasion of six months of the World’s Greatest Show.Providing relief to travellers and passers-by and helping in symbolising our collective humanity, reflecting the country’s heritage and its spirit of hospitality, the community drinking fountain is a visual marker for the UAE, generosity and tolerance.

“Through the uniting power of water – which is one the most precious resources – the creative and innovative designs will shed light on the most unique traditions of UAE culture. Sabeel 2020 is also a great opportunity for us to showcase UAE design talent to the world and work with the winning designers to bring their visions to life on an incredible global platform.” Said by Marjan Faraidooni, Chief Pavilions and Exhibitions Officer at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The collaboration between Art Jameel and Expo 2020 targeted in engaging architects, artists, designers and other UAE-based creatives, plus international practitioners with a robust relationship to the UAE. Expo 2020 received more than 100 proposals by the open call.

Seven internationally respected judges from the design, world of art and architecture, assessed 20 shortlisted submissions based on criteria such as the strength of the concept, consideration of the architecture and environment of the site; technical and budgetary feasibility; visitor usability; both artistically and technically; and interpretation of the sabeel concept.

“We’re honoured and thrilled to collaborate with Expo 2020 Dubai for curating Sabeel 2020, and we applaud the set of talented UAE-based designers on their vibrant reinventions of the drinking water fountain. Stellar international jury were thanked for their rigour, time, and dedication to nurturing the UAE creative scene” said by Antonia Carver, Director at Art Jameel.

“Art Jameel has a particular interest in water and confluence; Sabeel 2020 is another expression of our commitment to both exploring water as the most precious resource, and to the UAE itself.”
From 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, Expo 2020 Dubai will welcome the world to celebrate creativity, innovation and culture. Its theme, ‘Connecting minds, Creating the future’, reflects Expo 2020’s vision for a better future for our planet. With 192 participating countries and an expected 25 million visits, it will be the largest event ever held in the Arab World.




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