Dubai Expo 2020: Sneak peek at pavilions taking visitors under the sea

On the occasion of World Ocean Day (June 8), we look at the Expo country pavilions inspired by the oceans

  
Philippines' ‘Bangkota’ pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is near completion and will present globally-active icons of architecture, art, and design who will drive the pavilion’s experiences and messages. Image Courtesy: WAM

Philippines' ‘Bangkota’ pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is near completion and will present globally-active icons of architecture, art, and design who will drive the pavilion’s experiences and messages. Image Courtesy: WAM

Have you dreamt of taking a deep dive into the mesmerizing world underwater and say hello to the myriad forms of marine life?

Well, Dubai Expo 2020 will let you do that - without you having to don wet suits or oxygen masks!

On the occasion of World Ocean Day (June 8), we look at the Expo country pavilions inspired by the oceans.

These pavilions have also put the spotlight on saving our precious seas from the impact of climate change.

Norway Pavilion

The Norway Pavilion will allow you to explore the deep blue sea and learn about the importance of ocean conservation – all without changing into a wetsuit. Visitors will find out about Norway’s seafaring heritage and its focus on maritime activities by taking an interactive journey from beneath the seabed to the water’s surface. The pavilion will highlight some of the most pressing environmental issues facing our oceans, and showcase cutting-edge innovations that could help overcome these challenges.

Philippines Pavilion

Designed to resemble the coral reef or ‘Bangk?ta’, and featuring stunning imagery by underwater photographer Scott Tuason, the Philippines Pavilion will allow visitors to discover defined, free-flowing, open spaces, reflecting how Filipino culture embraces openness and meaningful encounters, connected around the world by travel, migration, and technology. The multi-level structure is built on the idea of connectivity and permeability, enabling visitors to experience the island nation and its resilient, creative people. It will showcase a nation with millennia of history, a sustainable culture and a vibrant vision of its future.

Tonga Pavilion

Known as the Last Kingdom of the Pacific, Tonga invites visitors to see our impact on the world, through the eyes of a child. A young Tongan boy, Lafi, will introduce visitors to his best friend, Lei, the humpback whale. The pavilion showcases the treasures of Tongan waters, including schools of fish, colourful coral reefs and a whale swimming leisurely on the floor, giving visitors the feeling they are walking on water. Children will also start to understand the impact that humans are having on the marine environment through a physical installation in which Lei has to be rescued from amid a sea of plastic.

Fiji Pavilion

Fiji is known as the home of happiness – it is this that propels this small island nation forward despite the population facing many challenges due to rising sea levels. Aptly titled ‘Riding the waves of happiness’, the pavilion’s visitor experience highlights Fiji’s warm, welcoming spirit and multi-cultural society, as well as showcasing the country’s role as the custodians of the world’s largest, most peaceful and abundant ocean. A sombre, immersive underwater experience, featuring projections, clouds and waves, gives visitors an insight into how rising sea levels are impacting the country, before revealing how Fiji has become a leader and advocate for combatting climate change.

Seychelles Pavilion

Taking visitors on a treasure hunt, the Seychelles Pavilion showcases the natural beauty and history of the islands, an almost untouched piece of paradise. However, as visitors will discover, the country’s white sandy beaches and glittering waters are under threat from a range of issues, including plastic pollution and a climate change crisis that bleaches coral reefs and drowns islands. The Seychelles Pavilion aims to instill a sense of obligation in visitors to protect the islands’ natural treasures, as well as highlighting the steps that are being taken to secure the country’s present and future through leading blue economy initiatives, such as its pioneering blue bond.

St Kitts and Nevis Pavilion

The rich cultural heritage of St Kitts and Nevis is explored through beauty, food and music. Visitors will be invited to enjoy the calm scenes of an island paradise through a multi-sensory experience. By peering into small windows, each visitor will be able to find themselves interacting with the country’s vibrant natural environment. The light reflected by the mesh ceiling creates an aquamarine atmosphere, which makes visitors feel like they are walking underwater.

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