World’s Fair Expo 2020 Dubai: France Is A Beacon

For its participation in the Dubai World’s Fair, Expo 2020, which opened its doors on October 1, France decided to highlight its commitment to the sustainable-development goals announced by the UN.

France is a beacon at Expo 2020 Dubai, which opened its doors on October 1. “Considering the close bonds between France and the United Arab Emirates, we chose to be one of the most-involved countries at this international event,” explains Erik Linquier, France’s Commissioner General to the Expo. As proof of that commitment, The France Pavilion, which occupies 5,000 m² (54,000 sq. ft.), is the fifth largest at the fair. Two public figures embodying innovation, audacity and French art de vivre were needed as the faces of the pavilion, which is a true gem of innovation. France’s selection: the world-renowned astronaut Thomas Pesquet, and the award-winning pastry chef Jessica Préalpato.

Préalpato, who in 2019 became the first woman to win the prestigious “World’s Best Pastry Chef”[1] award, invented a delightful dessert, “Le Gustave,” specifically for the Expo. A subtle alliance of flavors from both countries, it is composed of date paste flavored with green cardamom, topped with a salad of frozen dates dressed with olive oil and a pinch of Espelette pepper – for the French Touch – and served with jasmine sorbet and a date soufflé.“For me, participating in the adventure of the France Pavilion is an opportunity to represent the bold ideas in the kitchen that are an integral part of our cultural legacy,” explains the 35-year-old, who was head pastry chef at Alain Ducasse’s 3-star restaurant at the Plaza Athénée. “Being committed to healthier food that is more respectful of the environment, I am proud to be promoting French art de vivre on the international scene.

For me, participating in the adventure of the France Pavilion is an opportunity to represent the bold ideas in the kitchen that are an integral part of our cultural legacy,” explains Jessica Préapalto.

  • Shining a Spotlight on Sustainable Development Goals

France, a driving force behind achieving the sustainable-development goals established by the UN, put those goals front and center in its programming for this international event. From October 1 to 14, for example, in partnership with Taste France, the brand created by the French government in February, 2020 to promote French agri-food know-how on the international scene, the French Pavilion highlighted Biodiversity.
For the event, a honey cooperative called “Les Compagnons du Miel,” which has obtained both the “Agri-éthique” label and the French fair-trade seal of approval, was on hand to illustrate the beekeeping sector’s importance to biodiversity. “The cooperative’s presence at this international event fully incarnates our determination to bring all of our country’s talents together to provide a collective response to environmental issues,” Erik Linquier points out.

Taste France is also be present at the Expo’s Education Fortnight on the theme of “Ensuring Access to Education for All,” from December 10 to 23, 2021, as well as at the fortnight devoted to consumption, entitled, “Establishing Sustainable Consumption and Production Methods,” which will be held from February 18 to March 3, 2022.


[1] As part of the famous “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” ranking, established by a panel of a thousand food experts.