The Opportunity District, which is having the orange color coding on the map of the Expo 2020 grounds, is not only one of the largest ones of the whole exhibition – it is also likely the one I spent most time in. Here is an overview of this section of the Expo 2020 site (link to general overview document).
Expo 2020 Opportunity District – Key Pavilions
Mission Possible was in fact the very first pavilion we visited on our Expo 2020 trip.
Mission Possible – The Opportunity Pavilions
The pavilion was very informative and entertaining. It motivated that you can change the world a bit with your effort. Therefore, the presentation is majorly held in line with one out of three examples. My wife and I were introduced to a project in Peru, where farmers used to have to buy water at very high prices, but now use special nets to collect water from the foggy weather. A really good presentation – at the end, you could even state your own commitment.
Expo 2020 Opportunity District – Country Pavilions
The countries I visited in the Opportunity district of the Dubai 2020 Expo are listed in alphabetical order.
I really like Austria and I liked the idea that they tried to present their country with very universal, basic language and pictures – but I felt that the pavilion did not work out too well. The staff was very motivated and friendly, though, and the restaurant featured Wiener Schnitzel, so that there were also very positive aspects about visiting the very uniquely designed place.
Overall, Caribbean and African countries felt to have the most colorful presentations on the Dubai grounds. Belize definitely presented themselves as a very interesting country to visit. Nice small pavilion, which I left with a smile.
I did expect some sort of reference to Rugby due to the recent Olympic Gold Medal. But even without it, the country presented themselves very colorfully and friendly in their rather small exhibition space.
Guatemala did a very nice presentation of their country. A nice focus on nature, but also on business strength of the country.
The Indonesian pavilion was very impressive. You walk up to the first exhibition space along a wall full of different spices produced in the country. In later areas the country showed themselves as a raising, optimistic, future-proof, but also very cosmopolitan state. Only the last presentation in an odeon-alike room was just too much company advertisement to me. Nice rest area with a cafe and a self-service restaurant and a nice shop, though.
Malta is reliable, sunny, a bit of boring, a financial place to me – and that somehow sums up their pavilion as well. One thng which stays in my mind is the question why the three Maltese islands Malta, Gozo and Comino felt to insist on a separate presentation somehow. Rather disappointing.
A dodo! Mauritius gave a summer vibe and attracted the visitor with great impression of their environment, but also their heritage. Nice visit, even though I felt that they could even do better.
If you divide the pavilion size by the area of the country, Monaco might be the leader in that regard on the Expo 2020. The country presented themselves as a leader in sponsoring sustainability projects, but also as a business location. There was also some historic background. Why do most parts of the staff try to speak French to you, though? If you want to have some posh (aka expansive) merch, the Monaco pavilion is a great option as well.
A very thoughtfully designed, colorful pavilion. I really liked the way they set up the small exhibition on the small country. Nicely done and a good (though even: short) visit.
Saudi Arabia might not be on the top of the list of beloved countries for many people – but their huge pavilion tried to show the country from the very best perspective. Impressive models of historic buildings, some great light shows and the world largest interactive water presentation – Saudi-Arabia did set up a presentation of their country in a way which simply had to stay in your mind. Very well done.
I expected more from the South African presentation. There just has to be more potential in this beautiful country than they showed in Dubai. Not a bad pavilion, but finally, you just don’t remember too much of it – others do it that much better.
Having a huge mirror as a Reflection space also showing the Swiss flag has been a genius thought when designing their pavilion. In the next station you walk up a short mountain route through the Swiss fog – and even when the visit of the pavilion becomes a bit too commercial and elevator giant Schindler or pharma big player Novartis present their topics, augmented reality and good information lead to a very interesting visit. Nice feature that they hand out umbrellas to provide shade. Swiss Lindt-Sprüngli chocolate available in the store at the end of your visit!
I feel the Ukraine is a young, innovative country, with motivated, beautiful people. Unfortunately, their pavilion did not really support that and the presentation felt a bit too boring to me. Bad luck.
The United Kingdom pavilion comes with a cool idea: you can select your own word and it is integrated into the story at the front and the wall inside the pavilion. That’s about the positives. Having the key contents part outside the pavilion in the U.A.E. heat while walking upstairs in boring glass display boxes is an absolute fail to me – and most visitord did not take the serpentine route downstairs for the second half of the exhibition but short-cut through the exit in the middle of the pavilion. Absolutely disappointing – at least there is a pub underneath the exhibition space!
Vietnam did not construct a building on their own, but had quite a large exhibition space in the Opportunity district. The presentation featuring cultural and history items, but also technological strengths and abilities of the country was excellent. Vietnam also drives a restaurant in their premises. Very good visit – unfortunately the entrance is a bit of hidden.
Expo 2020 Opportunity District – Partner Pavilions & Other Places
There are a couple of additional exhibitions in the Opportunity district – one was so weird that we had to visit it.
Germany in fact has two exhibition spaces, as the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg drives an own one – due to worldwide-known companies like Porsche or Bosch, their application won, so that the could present The Länd separately on the Expo grounds. I did not like the pavilion that much – it featured a couple of really interesting tech projects – but finally, it too much felt like advertisements for the companies driving these projects. The restaurant on ground level was a real treat, though – and featured my favorite German dish, Käsespätzle (Swabian cheese noodles).