The Sustainability district, which is marked in green on the Expo 2020 map, featured some really interesting pavilions during our visit. Here is my view on this part of the Dubai World Exposition grounds.
Expo 2020 Sustainability District – Key Pavilions
The huge Terra pavilion covered with solar energy panels is definitely one of the most iconic constructions on the Expo 2020 grounds.
Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion
The Sustainability District main pavilion has definitely been one of the most impressive visits during our Expo 2020 visit. After beginning your Terra Experience with physically driven, interactive exhibits about the impact of environmental changes. Then you choose (by going left or right) to go for a tour either Under The Ocean or Under The Forest. My wife and I went for the latter. The presentation following was very colorful, illustrative – and also informative, of course.
The tours merge at The Hall of Consumption. This area on the one hand gives an overview of consumption on the ecosystem, e.g. plastic in the ocean. A very interesting part is also the Would You Rather section. In multiple stations, you may choose between two options. For example, you can choose if you would rather kill the last panda without anyone knowing or not killing it, but everyone thinks you did. The results of all visitors are displayed on a scoreboard before you head into further interesting sections like displays which three things different people would take with them on a lonely island. There are a lot of other interesting exhibits then. Finally, there is also a large store and multiple restaurants. We tested out a vegetarian place, which was actually quite nice.
Expo 2020 Systainability District – Country Pavilions
The Country Pavilions are given in alphabetical order:
We originally did not plan to have a look into the Brazilian pavilion – but the design of it is just too cool, so we at least had to have a look. The pavilion features a large artificial lake underneath the pavilion roof, which people could also use to relax from the heat. Several visitors enjoyed to just have a walk through the water or just relax in some of the loungers provided. There is of course also more information about Brazil upstairs, as well as a shop on ground level. Worth visiting, for sure.
I loved the small presentation of countries you do not travel to while being in Dubai – and Burkina Faso did a great (and colorful) job presenting their country. Apart from natural features and a lot of cultural background, I especially loved the Burkina Faso shop, which had a lot of local products. Sorry to my dentist, I just had to buy a bag of locally produced sugered peanuts.
Cambodia is the perfect example that even in relatively small space, you can do a lot to present your country at the expo. Already the entrance temple-alike archway at the entrance to the place was very inviting and the pavilion turned out to be really interesting inside as well. One key display was about the world-famous Angkor temple, but there are also nice cultural displays. Definitely worth visiting as well.
The East African island state did a great job in presenting their nature, culture and even their sports. Especially if you are a diving and ocean life enthusiast, you might finally add the country to your bucket list after visiting the pavilion. Very nicely driven place with nice people as well.
Georgia tourism got a big hit by Covid-19, as the country was definitely increasing its focus and branding as a very interesting destination for culture and natural lovers before the pandemic. The pavilion proofs that it is a country worth visiting. The staff was relaxing a bit during our visit, which was unfortunate – but I really liked the average size presentation of the country.
The bad thing about the German pavilion is that it does offer Smart Queuing – and you might wait to get inside the pavilion. First you are registered (which majorly personalizes your visit and determines the language in which interactive displays are driven), then you learn in a second queue about the federal states of Germany. That was a bit of unfortunate, as you tend to rush through the first states in order not to loose your position in the queue. After a short show, you are getting into the great pavilion which is having a lot of interactive displays dealing with sustainability topics. The plastic ball pool with interactive displays was among the people’s favorite, but I loved the remaining part of the exhibits as well.
A very interesting, interactive show, where you could try out a lot. By going through different gates (at which your badge is registered), you also vote on some environmental questions. You pass different sections about the cities of the future, biodiversity and other topics.
At the end of the tour, you are in a theater, in which the show is also summing up the results and thoughts of your the group you are with at that time (you walk individually through the pavilion on your own). You end up being on swings – but I don’t want to tell you too much about it. Just do it – and maybe enjoy the shop and restaurant at the end. However, even during low attendance time, the German took us more than two hours, including all times waiting in line – so it will take a significant proportion of your visiting time.
Madagascar is an amazing biosphere – unfortunately the pavilion is not able to fully illustrate it. Maybe a tough task to do so. I definitely liked the cute items they had for sale in their shop, though.
The Mozambique pavilion offers a nice, but rather short trip to East Africa. Colorful presentation, even though some other countries in that region did even better.
The most impressive part of visiting the New Zealand pavilion is the waterfall projection at the beginning. Then, you come to an audiovisual presentation about the country. You may also go for a New Zealand snack. I liked the place, but it is not too outstanding compared to other places on the Expo.
Not just due to the soccer world cup in 2022 and the discussion about civil rights in the country, there is a certain focus on Qatar these days. The pavilion wants to present the country in a friendly, positive way, it does not give any thought on the critical points. Of course, there are references to the world cup. Interesting that the farewell at the end of the visit is in Arabian, Chinese, English… and Spanish. Definitely a nice architecture and a not too bad place, but compared to other countries in a similar position like Saudi Arabia, there is some potential to do better.
Saint Kitts and Nevis
A lot of impressions of Saint Kitts and Nevis – and even about their most famous historic person, Alexander Hamilton, is part of their pavilion. Even though being not that interactive, it is actually coming with a quite unique way of presenting in its first section – that’s also a way to stay in the visitors’ minds. Good one.
The Seychelles pavilion staff was keen on pointing out how simple the immigration rules for tourists under pandemic conditions are – that’s definitely not the only reason to think about a trip there. The design of the place is really nice and creates a memorable atmosphere.
Sustainability at its best – Singapore is presenting their country with an all green pavilion, with a very low energy profile. The presentations in the Singapore exhibition are not overwhelmingly catching, but the green design of the place is definitely a reason to visit the Asian city state. There is also a snack bar on top and a souvenir place. Nice place to do some pictures and impress your friends at home.
While Singapore is all green, Sweden is welcoming you to the Swedish forest. A nice design with some informative places. Overall, the shop with sustainable products, the design of the pavilion and the cafe are the key reasons to stop at the Scandinavians – the cafe is driven by the world famous Swedish furniture giant.
Expo 2020 Systainability District – Partner Pavilions & Other Places
There are also some special pavilions in the Sustainability district. My wife and I went for the Women’s Pavilion.
Emancipating and gender equality are the key topic of this pavilion, which is introducing you to you exceptional women. A nice and very informative place, which is a nice contrast to the other pavilions on the ground and thus makes it an interesting visit.
Singapore – More Postings
Here are all postings which deal with Singapore: