Snapchat and Expo 2020 Dubai invite visitors to explore the power of Connections across the physical and digital worlds

The interactive augmented reality experience celebrates Dubai's unique role in connecting the world, and brings to life Expo 2020 the theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ through a cross-cultural collaboration.

Visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai are being invited to explore a new series of physical and digital experiences that celebrate Dubai’s unique role in connecting the world and the UAE’s status as a global cultural hub. Developed in partnership with Snap Inc. and located at Al Forsan Park, the ‘Connections’ augmented reality (AR) experience is running from March 14  until the end of Expo 2020 Dubai on March 31.

The activation brings to life the Expo theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ as a cross-cultural collaboration between French artist Cyril Lancelin and Emirati artist and Snap Star Ahmad Ali. The experience is anchored in a one-of-a-kind physical art installation designed by Lancelin, against which Ali has leveraged Snap’s world-leading AR technology to overlay interactive experiences for Expo visitors.

Inspired by Arabic geometry and patterns, Lancelin’s artwork is formed from a variety of shapes giving life to an immersive ‘cube’, with the cube’s labyrinthine structure creating a unique space for exploration and contemplation. Using the Snap Camera inside the cube, visitors can unlock AR experiences designed by Ali and inspired by his Emirati heritage.

Visitors can also virtually explore some of the visionary quotes by UAE leaders over the last 50 years, and another AR Lens virtually merges all participating Expo countries’ flags together in the shape of the UAE flag, with the colours then dissolving into those of the host nation’s flag. The experiences continue around Expo with specially designed AR face lenses available through dedicated Snap Codes on site.

Hussein Freijeh, general manager for MENA at Snap Inc, said: “Snapchat has a legacy of storytelling in the Middle East, and we are constantly pioneering new ways for people to combine what they see in the real world with all that’s available to them in the digital world, representing the power of ‘Connections’. We also want to make AR more accessible to everyone as we believe it has the power to change the way we tell stories and interact with the world – to entertain, to inform, and to transform our connections in truly unimaginable ways. The compositions created by the two contributing artists are sure to captivate all who visit.” 

Rehan Asad, Chief Programme Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai said: “Expo 2020 Dubai offers visitors a glimpse into some of the world’s most unique architectural and cultural wonders. With that in mind and through this collaboration with Snap, we are taking that promise one step further, using the power of augmented reality to both entertain and inspire the world virtually on any device from any part of the globe.”