Families enjoy at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Kamal Kassim, Gulf Today
Inayat-ur-Rahman, Business EditorExpo 2020 Dubai has seen record visits since it first opened on October 1. The recent figures were buoyed by the UAE’s Golden Jubilee festivities, as well as a raft of sport, music and cultural performances.
The Swiss pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai has welcomed over half a million visitors from around the world since the inauguration of this global event on October 1st 2021. Starting their journey on the red carpet and ending it in Al Wadi, visitors experience the best of Switzerland from the heart of Dubai.
Under the theme “Reflections”, the pavilion revolves around reflecting Switzerland’s culture, magical landscapes and innovations through three acts: Typically Swiss, Sea of Fog and Innovative Switzerland.
True to the Expo theme ‘Connecting Minds – Creating the Future’, the three acts communicate Switzerland’s strengths and opportunities in the fields of education, research, technology and business.
Manuel Salchli, Commissioner General of the Swiss Pavilion and Chairman of the Steering Committee, said: “We are proud to welcome visitors from around the world and to hear beautiful stories about their unforgettable experiences in our pavilion. We are looking forward to keeping this momentum until March 2022 and to attract more people to discover Switzerland’s beauty and role in contributing to a better sustainable future”.
He added: “We are also proud to position our pavilion as a hub for dialogue, exchanging ideas and bringing together experts from different fields to discuss various topics in line with Expo’s thematic weeks and in collaboration with Swissnex.
These events underline the importance of connecting minds to create opportunities for youth, find efficient solutions to current challenges and contribute to a better tomorrow”.
Switzerland was the first country to confirm its participation in Expo 2020 Dubai and since its inauguration in October 2021, the Swiss pavilion was nominated among the top 5 pavilions with the longest queues as well as among the 10 best rooftop attractions with stunning views at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Switzerland was the first country to confirm its participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai.
The Swiss Pavilion offers a unique encounter with Switzerland. It highlights Switzerland as a country of scenic beauty and a leading hub of technology and innovation by presenting the excellence of Swiss universities, start-ups and companies as well as creating joint events with local partners.
The Swiss Pavilion relies on a public-private partnership model. It promotes Switzerland’s economic capacity and attractiveness to the UAE – the most important trading partner in the Middle East.
It turns the spotlight on its high-quality products and services together with its partners Schindler, Rolex SA, Switzerland Tourism, Roche, Clariant, Novartis, Nestlé, and KGS Diamond Group Ltd and suppliers. Presence Switzerland oversees the Swiss Pavilion.
It is the unit of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, which is responsible for Switzerland’s image abroad and Switzerland’s official presence in international events, such as World Expos.
The selected project ‘Reflections’ was designed by the Swiss project team OOS AG (architecture), Bellprat Partner AG (scenography) and Lorenz Eugster Landscaping GmbH (landscaping) and built by General contractor Expomobilia.
The Spain Pavilion in the heart of the Sustainability District at Expo 2020 Dubai has recorded a total of 500,000 visits since its opening on October first.
Themed “Intelligence for life”, the pavilion aims to become an example of intelligent creativity, capable of uniting people around sustainable projects in the fields of science, technology, education, and art.
In a recent survey carried by the pavilion in regards to how much visitors would recommend on a scale from 1 to 5, stopping by (being 5 highly recommended), the pavilion reached an average score of 4.7.
Moreover, since Expo was inaugurated, 33,976 children from the kinder garden to C3 have visited the Spain pavilion. When speaking with Expo school guides about the reaction among the pupils and teens, responses were very positive being ‘The forest of intelligence’ the most sought-after attraction for children of all ages. For the little ones, the second most popular exhibit is the August Moon movie, while for older students (15+ y/o), is divided between the dynamo sculpture and the giant chessboard.
Speaking of the occasion, Carmen Bueno Executive Commissioner of the Pavilion said, “We are delighted with the great reception we have had since the very beginning but especially, with the response that visitors are showing.
With all the wonderful pavilions at Expo not to mention all the incredible attractions that the UAE has to offer, reaching such incredible feedback, is something we definitely feel very proud of. I welcome everyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to visit us yet, to experience all the different attractions that make our pavilion unique as well as, to discover all the actions Spain is taking to champion sustainability in an innovative way.
Commissioned to Amann-C?novas-Maruri studio, the Spain Pavilion is an eco-friendly exhibition that seamlessly blends ancient heritage and cutting-edge innovation.
The Pavilion stands out for its enormous colourful cones, partially covered with ultralight and flexible photovoltaic panels that led visitors to an airy ground floor containing several, naturally cooled plazas featuring, ‘Glimpses’, a series of exhibitions synthesizing some of the most relevant contributions of Spain to the global culture and highlighting some of the historical links between the country and the Arab culture.
Connecting the old and the new, is Dynamo, an audio-visual sculpture by renowned artist Daniel Cologar.
The artistic installation hangs inside the Atrium and is surrounded by the ramps that descend visitors into the Theatre and the underground exhibition area. It consists of three sculptural screens in the form of an interlaced ringlet that show constantly changing generative audio-visual content thanks to the visitors’ interaction with the handrails along the ramp. As the handrail detects more contact, the content on the screens of Dynamo become more dynamic and saturated; and the sound intensifies.
At the Pavilion theatre, visitors have also the opportunity to enjoy ‘August Moon’, an 8-minute movie by one of the most creative minds in the Spanish film industry today, Nacho Vigalondo. Following Expo 2020 Dubai theme, ‘Connecting minds, Creating the future’, and the slogan of the Spain Pavilion, ‘Intelligence for life’, the film presents Spain as a dynamic, lively country, brimming with talent and creativity, that is committed to a sustainable and inclusive future.
On the lower floor, visitors can find the most sought-after attraction at the pavilion, ‘The forest of intelligence’. A 3D printed artificial forest capable of producing oxygen and an interactive tree that reacts to the sustainable habits of the public. A mix of design, art and technology to create a unique immersive experience in which the richness of the Spanish heritage, science, biodiversity, innovations in sustainability and the circular economy are highlighted.
The exhibition ends with a ramp that accompanies visitors along a 100-m long corridor with pictures of Spaniards of all ages, classes and backgrounds smiling at visitors while texts appear with some of the highlights that make Spain one of the countries with the best quality of life.
During the six months of the Expo, a total of 32 Spanish companies, including 200 artists, will present their work in Dubai.
Around 100 shows will take place in the Spain Pavilion and on the main stages in the Expo venue. Inside the pavilion, numerous activities ranging from arts to sports are taking place with thematic weeks and international days, along with, business forums and activities organised by its sponsors.
Expo 2020 will continue to bring the world together during challenging times, with the need for resilience continuing in the face of the global pandemic, and demonstrating that, now more than ever, we need to keep pulling together as an international community.
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