Festive wonderland: Top 10 not-to-be missed experiences at Expo 2020 - GulfToday

Festive wonderland: Top 10 not-to-be missed experiences at Expo 2020

Local and international visitors have been taking keen interest in the Expo 2020 Dubai by visiting the venue in large numbers. Kamal Kassim, Gulf Today

Local and international visitors have been taking keen interest in the Expo 2020 Dubai by visiting the venue in large numbers. Kamal Kassim, Gulf Today

Inayat-ur-Rahman, Business Editor

Expo 2020 Dubai is rapidly approaching its half-way point, and with only 100 days to go, what are the top 10 not-to-be missed experiences?

Make the most of the season at Expo, with the site currently resembling a festive wonderland, keeping you occupied with incredible shows and activities over Christmas and New Year. Check the website and app for details

 Keep an eye out for upcoming Infinite Nights announcements – so far, the concert series has brought in Alicia Keys, Nancy Ajram, Ragheb Alama and Kadim Al Sahir to the Expo stages. Can you guess who might be next?

 On 22 December, catch A. R. Rahman, famed Oscar-winning composer and friend of Expo 2020 Dubai, performing alongside a host of other Indian singers and musicians for a truly unforgettable night

K-Pop fans rejoice! South Korea’s National Day at Expo take place on 16 January, and includes a performance by eight-member boy band Stray Kids as well as other artists.

Expo has five more Theme Weeks on the way, including Global Goals Week from 16-22 January. Be part of the decade of action as Expo seeks to advance the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and drive positive change at the first Global Goals week ever held outside the United Nations General Assembly.

Drop by on 28-29 January to see New Zealand’s top graffiti artists pick up their spray cans at Al Forsan Park to showcase the beauty of Maori and Pacific Island street art, exclusively for Expo 2020 Dubai.

You’ve got just over three months left to experience Expo’s key attractions – or jump into the Garden in the Sky observation tower to see most of them in one hit, high above the ground. A must-do experience in itself.

 Who will follow in the footsteps of Lionel Messi and Usain Bolt? With an exciting new venue opening in January, more sporting celebrities are set to visit Expo, from Ballon d’Or winning footballers to gold medal-winning Olympians.

Participate in a sporting activity yourself. Join one of the upcoming Ride the World and Run the World sessions taking in the best of the Expo site (these are even happening on Christmas Day!) or try the ladies-only yoga sessions at the Surreal water feature every Monday at 0930 GST.

Expo invites you to see the world, and eat the world, with delicious dishes from the various participating countries found at many Country Pavilions, in addition to amazing vegan, local and international eateries across the site. Visit @eatatexpo to plan your culinary journey.

Remember to stay up-to-date with all of the latest events and announcements, as well as news of ticket offers and promotions, on the Expo website and app.

It’s almost time to wrap up the activities for the year and start planning the upcoming holidays. For those that have pencilled in a trip to Expo 2020 Dubai in their diaries, a visit to the Mauritius Pavilion is unmissable.

Mauritius Pavilion: Located in the Opportunity District of Expo 2020, Mauritius Pavilion is a stone’s throw away from the magnificent Al Wasl Plaza, and reflects the splendid beauty of the island of Mauritius. The pavilion is themed ‘Roots of The Future’, symbolic of the country’s achievements today and how it is intertwined with its past.

The pavilion takes visitors on an interactive journey of the tropical paradise island of Mauritius with a textured seascape wall and forest, and its floor projections. Guests can learn more about the beautiful flora and fauna on the island including the country’s national flower, the Trochetia Boutoniana, that grows on Le Morne Mountain (a world heritage site) and the different species of Ebony trees.

Visitors can spot life-size displays of endemic birds such as the Pink pigeon, the Echo parakeet, the Mauritius fody, the Mauritius kestrel, the majestic Paille-en-queue and the beloved Dodo, which was last sighted in 1662. With these features, the pavilion aims to educate visitors about the importance of environmental conservation.

The Mauritius Pavilion is divided into four zones, tied with mysteries riddles (sirandanns) that are woven across. The predominant colour of the pavilion is warm, bright, and inviting thus reflecting the Mauritian hospitality. The pavilion also highlights the emotional and historic connection that the country has with sugarcane cultivation.

Zone 1: Unlocking Access

Visitors will start their journey by experiencing the warm Mauritian culture introduced by a sirandann and a ‘welcome’ message in different languages. Visitors can unlock their access to the magical world through an interactive world map. Guests will then learn more about the exquisite landscape of Mauritius. Fun virtual reality surfing experiences are also located in this zone.

Zone 2: Reaping the Rewards

The second zone is dominated by a bright ambiance representing peace, good governance, cultural diversity, and economic prosperity. This zone is a treat for the senses with a sweet smell and sounds of the waves and birds. Visitors will discover fruits and flowers of seven colours and will be invited to “reap the rewards”. Representing the decades of hard work that has made Mauritius one of Africa’s leading countries, these fruits are individually connected to a colourful optical fibre sprawled along the ceiling. At this zone, children can also watch a video about the extinct Dodo bird, along with observing its replica.

Zone 3: The Hub

The optic fibre symbolises the progressive and futuristic economy of Mauritius and merges in a central space called The Hub. This zone connects the branches to the roots, the future to the past and Mauritius to the African continent and the rest of the world.

Through an interactive experience across seven different stations, visitors will explore Mauritius’ role as a hub for finance, education, logistics, information and communications technology (ICT) and other sectors that make Mauritius a diverse and prosperous economy.

Zone 4: The Roots of The Future

This zone is an organic art installation of sugarcane plants, depicting “roots of the future”. Each plant has a portrait of a Mauritian ancestor along with a story of their humble beginnings, stemmed in sugarcane agriculture. One of the plants carries a mirror where visitors can view their own reflection, serving a reminder that everyone is a root of the future, and is vital in creating a foundation for the next generation.

Before leaving the pavilion, guests can also enter an exciting competition to win a trip to Mauritius or buy authentic Mauritian products from the exhibition shop. For more information, please visit https://www.mauritiusdubaiexpo2020.com/

The Mauritius Pavilion is located in the Opportunity District of Expo 2020 Dubai, close to the Al Wasl Plaza. The pavilion takes visitors on an interactive journey of the tropical paradise island of Mauritius. The design features floor projections and a textured seascape wall and forest, allowing the visitors to explore the splendid nature of Mauritius. The predominant colour of the pavilion is warm, bright, and inviting, reflecting Mauritian hospitality.

The Mauritius Pavilion also invites visitors to discover the country’s achievements and how they are intertwined with its past - “The Roots of the Future”. Visitors will also explore Mauritius’ role in linking the world to Africa.

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