New Zealand's $54m international push at the delayed Dubai Expo is on track with 95 per cent of its pavilion finished.
Expo 2020 was scheduled for October this year but the Covid-19 pandemic forced its delay for 12 months.
New Zealand's Expo organisation says the United Arab Emirates was committed to the global trade and cultural event - which will still be known as Expo 2020 - going ahead next October. Organisers are working with international participants and planning for all scenarios.
Workers are putting the finishing touches on the New Zealand pavilion's feature facade and the building will be completed in the middle of next year.
New Zealand was one of the first countries to bless and then break ground on the Expo site in May 2019.
"We're so excited that our vision for Expo 2020 Dubai will soon be a reality," says Clayton Kimpton, New Zealand's commissioner-general to Expo 2020 Dubai.
The pavilion now has all mechanical, engineering and plumbing in place along with doors,
windows, floors, walls and interior painting completed. This also includes built-in security systems by Gallagher Security.
The New Zealand at Expo 2020 team marked the project milestone with a ceremony to recognise the contribution of the construction partner Rimond Middle East that has put in 260,995 work hours on the site.
Due to Covid-19, Expo 2020 Dubai introduced a number of precautionary measures in line with Dubai and UAE government guidelines, to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone working at Expo.
These include sanitisation, social distancing and mask-wearing which were
implemented by Rimond, which also treated the New Zealand team as its own bubble.
The New Zealand Pavilion was designed by Jasmax architects and is located in the Sustainability District of the Expo 2020 site.
The building was designed to increase efficiency through its construction methodology and use of sustainable materials including Abodo New Zealand eco-timber, which will be a striking aspect of the pavilion's restaurant and hosting venues.
The pavilion's façade will be a highlight feature of the structure. Made from Kaynemaile, a lightweight, New Zealand-made mesh material that is 100 per cent recyclable and includes recycled materials in its composition.
The pavilion's visitor experience embodies New Zealand's culture, values and ingenuity through the theme of ''Care for People and Place''.
The pavilion is made of 201 tonnes of steel, 640 cubic metres of concrete and is on a 3616 sq m site.
Parris Goebel will curate New Zealand's entertainment and cultural programme for Expo 2020.
Sponsors of New Zealand at Expo 2020 are known as the Care Collective: Fonterra, Comvita, Kaynemaile, Zespri, Mr Apple, Shadowspec, Abodo, Air New Zealand, Caroma, Città, David Trubridge, Gallagher, Method, Methven, Moffat, noho, Resident, Scion, Skope, Tim Webber Design and Toitū Envirocare.