After delaying its original launch by a year, Expo 2020 Dubai is tempting the global travel community with the opening this week of its Pavilions Premiere, which offers a glimpse of what's to come when the world's first Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region kicks off on 1 October 2021.
The first of three themed pavilions built for the mega expo, Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion, which means ‘Planet Earth’, will be a science centre of sorts — offering an immersive journey including a walk through the roots of the forest, understanding the hidden harmful impacts of human's choices on the environment, as well as explaining the cycle of consumerism.
Open from 22 January until 10 April 2021, visitors can expect food trucks, organic food from Origins Cafe, local and international products on display from retail carts, a children’s playground, gift shop, as well as live entertainment.
“This period of rapid, unprecedented change has brought with it a pressing need to rethink the way we exist, and is further accelerated by a global health crisis that has touched each and every individual on Earth. While 2020 may be remembered as a year that changed us forever, it has also given us a tremendous opportunity to come together as a global society and find answers to our most pressing challenges," said Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, director general of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau and UAE minister of state for international cooperation.
Added chief experience officer Marjan Faraidooni: “Expo 2020 aims to be one of the most sustainable World Expos in history and supports the UAE’s efforts as a champion of green development, so it is fitting that our first visitors will [see] the opportunities that unite us and how we can work together to create positive change".
Naturally, the pavilion's design follows the same sustainability theme. Led by Grimshaw Architects — whose works include the Los Angels International Airport metro connector and the expansion of London's Heathrow Airport — Terra is built to be net-zero for both energy and water, thanks to 1,055 photovoltaic panels arranged on a 130-metre-wide roof canopy and atop a series of ‘Energy Trees’. The pavilion also utilises water-reduction strategies, water recycling and alternative water sources.
One of the sustainability themed exhibits at Terra Pavilion, which will function like science centre of sorts.
Safety, remains an utmost priority.
Visitors to Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion are required to make a timed-entry reservation in advance online. To manage capacity, walk-in tickets will not be available, while opening hours are limited to five days a week, from 1500-2100 on Tuesdays to Thursdays, and 1600-2200 on Fridays and Saturdays.
The remaining two pavilions, Alif – The Mobility Pavilion and Mission Possible – The Opportunity Pavilion, will open later in Q1 2021.
When Expo opens 1 October 2021, visitors can expect daily events showcasing the best of technology, creativity and culture, supported by F&B outlets offering global cuisines.
Built with long-term legacy in mind, once the six-month event concludes, the expo site will transform into District 2020, a blueprint for human-centric, smart and sustainable cities of the future.