A scenic view of the Expo.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
The UAE Pavilion will present ‘Nurturing Legacy’ at the upcoming International Horticultural Expo 2023 in Doha, Qatar (Oct 2 – Mar. 28), which will bring together approximately 80 international participants who will showcase their latest sustainability-focused innovations and solutions in response to the Expo’s theme, ‘Green Desert, Better Environment.’ The UAE Pavilion at Expo 2023 Doha is administered by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and the National Projects Office. Sharing an artistically crafted story of UAE’s Dreamers and Pioneers, the participation will demonstrate the enduring bond between communities and Nature, as well as the UAE’s long history of impactful contributions and innovations that emphasise the efforts at promoting a prosperous agricultural legacy – from the past to the present, to an ambitious future.
Ibrahim Salem Humaid Alalawi is the Commissioner General for the UAE Pavilion Expo 2023 Doha; the pavilion’s design takes inspiration from the resilient Ghaf tree and features rammed earth walls and a palm-leaf roof. The built environment is designed by the international BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, and the building is encompassed with a garden containing native and adaptive plants found in the UAE. The UAE Pavilion will feature a number of multi-sensory and informative presentations, which will offer guests of the Expo an understanding of the UAE’s agricultural legacy and the Dreamers in the UAE who hail from around the world, and are contributing to a more sustainable and resilient future for all.
They will have the opportunity to learn about how the people of the UAE coexist with their land, and how they contributed, with the support of the late Founding Father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in developing a prosperous and diversified agricultural sector. The multi-sensory guest experience includes six informative displays featuring stories which present the initiatives that highlight the way of life of the people of the UAE, from their ancestors to the present day, who have been living in harmony with the environment, and creating innovative ways to do so.
Guests will be introduced to the UAE’s Early Dreamers, and then walk through an immersive experience to discover how ancestral legacies were championed by Founding Father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, by focusing on collaboration, innovation, social empowerment and preservation. It set the foundations for a forward-thinking approach to agriculture, whose positive results can be seen today. Towards the end, they will have the opportunity to interact with an installation that encourages self-reflection on one’s personal environmental legacy. The guest experience was designed by Stuttgart-based Atelier Bruckner (ATB), a multi-disciplinary experience design firm whose other notable work includes contributing to the Museum of the Future, Dubai.
A geodesic dome indicates the fragile nature of the environment.
‘Nurturing Legacy’ is the UAE’s third presentation at an international horticultural exposition. The UAE first participated in specialised Expos in Beijing 2019, with ‘Land of Dreamers Who Do’, followed by ‘Salt Water Cities: Where Land Meets Sea’ at the Floriade Expo 2022 in Almere, The Netherlands. The UAE Pavilion at Expo serves as a platform to bring together people and innovation to address issues facing humanity through multi-sensory guest experiences, storytelling, content curation and programming. Each UAE Pavilion presentation shares stories of people, projects and ideas from across the UAE in response to the core theme set by the Expo organiser, creating opportunities to connect and inspire audiences.
The UAE Pavilion also recently released two publications: an Assouline (publisher) book memorialising the ‘Land of Dreamers Who Do’ (2022), and its first children’s book ‘Dreamers: Where Land Meets Sea’ (2023). The site of the International Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha spans 1.7 million square metres; the event takes place in the scenic Al Bidda Park, one of the biggest of its kind in Doha, offering views of the Arabian Gulf. The event was to be hosted earlier, but was rescheduled to 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) general assembly in Paris formally recognised it 2018 as an International Horticultural Exhibition.
Encouraging, inspiring, and educating people about cutting-edge methods to lessen desertification is the aim of the Expo. It provides a global forum for professionals, non-governmental organisations, decision makers and participants to discuss the global issue of desertification. Action on global issues must be taken globally and Doha is a global city. In addition to bringing the world together to find answers to the problem of desertification, it is hoped that the International Horticultural Expo 2023 there will play a significant role in securing a sustainable future.
Since 1960, BIE has recognised 23 Horticultural Expos. They aim to foster cooperation and the sharing of knowledge and solutions between countries, horticultural producers and agricultural industries by addressing the issues of healthy lifestyles, green economies, sustainable living, education and innovation. Horticultural Expos are organised by a host country, and last up to six months. Participants include countries and international organisations (official participants) as well as cities, regions, companies, civil society and NGOs (non-official participants).
Since 1851, when the first Expo was held in London’s Crystal Palace, Expos have helped mankind make sense of change and chart a more progressive future by gathering people and nations under the common banner of education, innovation and cooperation. They are mirrors of their time, and are currently platforms for cross-border collaboration. Expos have transformed cities, shaped debates on key issues and provided unforgettable experiences to hundreds of millions of visitors.
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