August 31, 2019, 11:59 pm (Gulf Standard Time)





Sabeel 2020 – Expo 2020 Dubai in collaboration with Art Jameel.

Sabeel 2020 is a programme that sets out to produce uniquely and innovatively designed drinking water fountains for the Expo 2020 Dubai site and its legacy.

More Details

Drawing from the Expo 2020 theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ and subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and SustainabilitySabeel 2020 is a chance to build new creative collaborations and concepts, and further serves to provide major opportunities for the UAE creative sector.

Opportunity Focus Areas:

  • Architecture.
  • Craft.
  • Design.
  • Drawing.
  • Fashion.
  • Film.
  • Illustration.
  • Installation.
  • Interior Design.
  • Literature.
  • Mixed media.
  • Music.
  • New Media.
  • Painting.
  • Performing Art.
  • Photography.
  • Printmaking.
  • Product Design.
  • Sculpture.
  • Visual Art.

Inspired by the notion of the sabeel, the programme sets out to reimagine the traditional drinking fountain as an iconic design for the Expo 2020 public space, harmoniously integrating both art and design elements.

A sabeel is a community water fountain that provides relief to passersby and travelers, and that symbolizes our collective responsibility and solidarity with people in our community and humanity as a whole.

Required Languages

English or Arabic.

Eligible Countries


Program Period

Winners will be anounced in November.

  • Three shortlisted submissions will be selected by the jury. Of these, at least one will be mass-produced to become the iconic sabeel of the Expo 2020 site. Installed across various locations throughout the Expo 2020 site, the winning design(s) will remain as part of the Expo 2020 legacy.

Eligibility Requirements (Criteria)

The Sabeel 2020 competition invites practitioners who:

  • Work as designers, architects, artists or within other creative industries
  • Have experience working in the public realm to brief or commission
  • Demonstrate an ability to design a work that is suitable for permanent public display
  • Display awareness of environmental concerns and a commitment to the key principles that inform Expo 2020’s overall sustainability strategy
  • Embrace conceptual and visual ideas/designs that are wholly original, dynamic, carefully considered and contextually appropriate
  • Have a proven track record of adhering to budgets and deadlines
  • Are from or are based in the UAE, including UAE nationals, long-term residents and those with a demonstrable and sustained relationship with the UAE and its values

Design proposals should:

  • Consider the architecture and environment of Expo 2020’s site and visitor usability, including public health and safety standards
  • Be robust enough to withstand high levels of usage, considering a projected 150,000 daily visitors to Expo 2020
  • Stand out conceptually, artistically and technically
  • Engage meaningfully with a broad, contemporary audience base, and encourage interactivity and engagement
  • Provide a memorable, captivating focal point that will bring the concept of the sabeel to life in a non-literal way
  • Show some flexibility in terms of concept as well as adaptability to place, design and install
  • Consider availability of materials locally and have the capacity to be produced within a budget commensurate to benchmarked standards for a drinking fountain in the UAE market
  • Meet the deadlines of the application, production and installation processes outlined here

Further technical requirements and health and safety regulations are listed here.

Opportunity Cost


  • A prize of AED 100,000 will be paid to each successful applicant selected as a winner.
  • Expo 2020 will cover the production costs, whereby applicants should aim to conceive designs that are commensurate to benchmarked standards for a drinking fountain in the UAE market without compromising the design aesthetic (excluding the internal unit, plinth, infrastructure connections and installation costs).

How to Apply

First Step: Fill the application here.

Second Step: Submissions must include:

  • A brief introduction to yourself and your practice (in Arabic or English, max. 500 words)
  • A summary that highlights your relevant experience of working to brief or commission for projects in the public realm (in Arabic or English, max. 500 words)
  • A statement on your approach to addressing this project’s brief (in Arabic or English, max. 500 words)
  • A draft budget in PDF format (in English, in AED)
  • Up to three high-resolution concept drawings of your proposed design
  • Up to three high-resolution preliminary technical drawings of your proposed design
  • A PDF containing up to 10 images/videos of your relevant previous work, accompanied by captions summarizing each work shown

Apply Now

More Details

Know more about this opportunity:

Official Website

Marj3 recommended links

To learn how to write CV, Essays, Personal statement,  and know about recommendation letters click here:

Marj3 recommended links

This Scholarship Published by:
Maria Medhat / Egypt

Reviewed by “ Mohamed Magdi Eweda / Egypt

And Nada Ahmed / Egypt
MARJ3 Intern
MARJ3 Scholarships team