Emirates Airlines

The challenge

Working alongside the brilliant in-house team at Territory Studio, I conceived and created bespoke digital content, films and experiential activations for Emirates' flagship pavilion at Dubai World Expo 2020 (2021-22, thanks to Covid!).

The pavilion's theme was, The Future of Aviation, and I was initially engaged at the pitch stage to help Terriotory win what was to be an engaging and exciting project that combined research, storytelling and imagination.

Combining my experiential creative experience and filmmaking craft with Territory's brilliant motion graphics capabilities, I created a pitch that concepted eight unique interactive installations that utilised technologies, including haptics, robotics, 360° projection and VR. All the installations were designed as multi-person-engagement, with topics ranging from the future of aircraft design and materials to fuel innovation and seamless travel. The pièce de résistance was an immersive first-person flythrough that personalised audiences' pavillion journey through a profoundly engaging day in the life of Dubai in 2071.

With the pitch won, I was subsequently engaged to write and direct the core content and help refine audience engagement and interaction design for the installations and overall pavilion experience.

Agencies: Territory Studios & Pulse Group

My role

  • Creative Director - Pitch
  • Writer & Director - Content

Behind the scenes

Scamps for Emirates Pavillion
Click to see scamps and watch mood films / animatics.

Much time was spent in research, deep-diving into the predictions of aviation experts such as NASA, EREA and SESAR, with particular emphasis on green technologies and ecological travel. Primed with the wisdom of rocket scientists, I was able to conceive what the future of aviation - and indeed humanity - might be and bring that to life through engaging interactive experiences and engaging films and content.

The Installations

For the Emirates' pavilion I created eight activations and ten CGI films.

Key deliverables

Emirates pavilion example content
View examples of Emirates Pavilion installations and content
Arrival Tunnel

On arrival, visitors travelled through an immersive portal comprising a vast bank of curved LEDs, setting the scene for the experience.

Science of Flight

A Pepper's Ghost, provided the perfect canvas for our holographic aircraft, augmented with deep-dive graphics and text, to prime visitors on flight physics.

Design Your Perfect Aircraft

A touchscreen configurator allowed users to build, customise and fly their own plane. Visitors could select from various models, fuels and wing types before designing their own liveries and finally taking their unique creations on a test flight.

Airport of the Future

An immersive journey through the airport of the future, allowing audiences to discover first-hand how innovative technology, architecture and design will transform the entire passenger experience, incorporating facial scanning, interactives, cut-scenes and dynamic fly-throughs.

Content from Emirates pavilion
View examples of Emirates Pavilion installations and content
Future Lab

An arresting combination of robotics and immersive digital content, demonstrating leading-edge innovations that will make aircraft lighter, faster and stronger – from biomimetics and self-healing materials to generative design. This installation featured an array of robot-controlled experiments within a futuristic lab setting, augmented with screen content – all of which was initiated by the user, requiring precise choreography, sequencing and testing upfront.

Thrust and Propulsion

State-of-the-art Ghost OLED touch screens and a vast prop engine formed the centrepiece of this captivating installation that allowed visitors to delve into the fuels of the future through a combination of fully navigable, holographic 360° models, pop-up graphics and content-rich micro-stories.

Experience Your Tomorrow

A multi-sensory VR experience, which took visitors aboard a virtual flight in the cabin of the future. Transitioning from the real world into the imaginary realm, a haptic interface enabled users to explore a suite of inflight features designed to enhance passenger experience and wellbeing, including – entertainment and communications, biometric analysis, windowless fuselage with alternate vistas and a fully immersive sound shroud.

Seeding the Future 360° film
View examples of Seeding the Future.
Seeding the Future

The Emirates' pavilion experience culminated in a 6-minute immersive film that merged narrative themes from the other activations into an emotional, personalised finale. This epic adventure took the form of a seamless, first-person flythrough of Dubai in 2071. Starting in a room full of clouds, audiences were transported down to earth, where they witnessed vertical farms, modern city infrastructure, autonomous travel, the airport of the future and a breathtaking trip into outer space.


Located on a purpose-built, 438 hectare site, Expo 2020 finally closed its doors in March 2022, having welcomed over 24 million visitors in just six months, from 178 countries world-wide. More than 300,000 people passed through the Emirates pavilion and the response was extraordinarily positive.

Please contact me if you would like to know any more about this (or any other) project.