The Telegraph visits Dubai Expo 2020 and returns with six unforgettable lessons
Posted on 07.11.21, 02:37 AM
There couldn’t be a grander city to host Expo 2020 than Dubai –– it was the singular thought that occupied our minds as we dragged our weary feet to the bus station where a waiting bus took us over. Taken to our parking spot where our car waited to take us back to town. That an event of this magnitude can be planned so impeccably is a lesson to be learned at the Dubai Expo 2020 which started on October 1, 2021 and will run until March 31, 2022.
Retaining its original name despite the world’s unfortunate failure to hold the event in the desired year, the event almost makes guests believe that 2020 never really happened around us. The world has descended on the city of Dubai to present a glorious display of their country’s excellence in various fields with 192 pavilions and an Expo passport in addition. For each country pavilion you visit, get a stamp on its pages! Here are six reminders we received at Expo 2020 Dubai that will stay with us for years to come.
The first stamp on our passport was from India. He focused on three main aspects of economics – space, yoga and Ayurveda. The green downstairs entrance had men in white leotards displaying yoga poses. Intention and heart might have been in the right place, which makes for an endearing display.
The vibrant floor above had LED screens on all sides showcasing art, heritage and culture. Most bewitching, this floor definitely made up for what was missing at the entrance. India, a $ 2.5 trillion economy, is thriving and ready to welcome investors with open arms. Focusing on our thriving startup industry, an entire section shines a light on the country’s unicorns.
Attention is also paid to states with a rotating display cycle. On October 17, when we visited the Expo, the state in the spotlight was Gujarat. With the sole aim of placing India firmly in the collective global psyche as an ‘ideal business partner’, the perhaps simple four-story pavilion with Prime Minister Modi’s face smiling from various points of view, it is is also effective in its messaging.
This pavilion will now be part of District 2020, which is the shape the Expo grounds would adapt after the event ends in March of next year. One of the few structures to become permanent, this District 2020 community, a smart city initiative, aims to encourage innovation in the UAE.
When science meets aesthetics, it creates art
Cute yellow robotic assistants rolled on their wheels, waiting to be patted on the head and asked questions that they are programmed to answer. Feeling more and more like witnessing the future in a simulation, the lights slowly began to come on as the sun set. We entered a structure aptly named Garden in the Sky, a 55 meter high observation tower offering a 360 ° view of the Expo. The display of water in the form of a waterfall right next to the garden in the sky turns out to be one of the most magnificent parts of the view from it.
However, it’s Al Wasl Square that takes your breath away. A dome structure of magnificent proportions, there would be over 250 projectors projecting onto the dome to create a visual display so strong one can’t help but pick his jaw off the ground. This 130 meter wide and 68 meter high dome structure is a 360 ° viewing screen that makes your experience breathtaking no matter where you sit. We couldn’t get enough! The sheer fullness of art in its various forms meeting technology at a vantage point creating illusions of unimaginable scale was one of our take-out for the day.
Sustainability is the world’s biggest concern right now
The German pavilion is known as Campus Germany, where each visitor graduates as a student from their university. Definitely our favorite of the day, visitors are equipped with an e-medallion which is provided with your name at the start of your trip –– orientation! For each feature you choose to explore from the trip, it’s personalized on the screen in front of you with your name flashing on it.
Promoting large-scale technological advancements, Germany focused on its green initiatives and joined forces to work towards a sustainable future. In small groups of 40-50 “students,” one sat on mechanical swings that were set in motion, urging you to move together for a safer future as your name flashed across the boards. screens that surrounded you. With poignant music playing in the background, the graduation film turned out to be Expo 2020’s most immersive experience. Solar panels as thin as sheets of paper, prototype flying cars that have tested successfully as early as 2017 left “students” stunned.
As you get ready to leave, grab a pair of Nintendo Keys and play a game on the big screen in front of you while people watch people in the amphitheater-style lounge inspired by a typical school auditorium, making it made a full educational experience with fun and games too!
Our future is brighter than expected
Most of the country pavilions had provided their young people with the information and knowledge to pave the way for visitors and showcase what their country had to offer. Stationed in Dubai for six-month internships, these students live a multicultural experience while proudly speaking about their own country. By making an interesting learning initiative, they instilled the faith in every visitor that our future is in safe, bright and conscious hands.
At the India pavilion, a young girl stationed at one of the knowledge desks armed with an iPad helped us understand and learn more about technological advancements in the agricultural sector in India. Another used her iPad to point to a certain plant in India’s Ayurvedic Offerings greenhouse and told us about the properties of this magical plant. We couldn’t help but be proud!
There is nothing greater than the beauty of nature
At the Saudi Arabia pavilion, one is forced to gaze at a magnificent water fountain while waiting for the doors to open and the next batch of visitors to be allowed in. However, the second largest pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020 with a total of 13,059m² welcomes you inside with a magnificent presentation of the various terrains of the country before showing you its marvelous and historical architecture.
While a creatively designed space with an innovative light work floor shows you the country’s emerging art, a business park invites investment into the country by showing potential investors what the country has to offer. What remains with you at the end of the tour is the sight of the country’s flora and fauna, which is otherwise unimaginable for people who travel abroad but are afraid to view the country as a desirable destination.
Ultimately, food unites us
We headed to the Africa dining room for the last meal of the day as we wrapped up our day at Expo 2020. Digging into some delicious meat prepared with their famous Suya spice, we sat down with their chef Coco who told us about some “spicy” secrets of his cooking. A plate of Nairobi Sambusa had minced chicken with peas, potatoes and a cilantro garnish and the chef told us how it was the Kenyan version of a samosa served with a cilantro dip! Hello Punjab!
Lagos Night had lamb cooked in Suya spices and cassava chips as tasty as they are beautiful to look at! Representatives from Brazil, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, India, Africa and Japan sat together to enjoy a hearty meal and talk about the state of politics in their countries and at that time we were one. Whether it’s the power of food or the combined effects of world exposure, it’s hard to tell. But united in thought when it came to the progress of mankind, nothing separated the world except geography.