New Expo 2020 Dubai attractions: Reverse waterfall, observation tower with 'flying park'

The Water Feature will have an orchestral score from composer of the Game of Thrones theme music

Expo 2020 Dubai Water Feature and the Garden in the Sky observation tower. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

Expo 2020 Dubai Water Feature and the Garden in the Sky observation tower. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

One of the attractions at the Expo 2020 site unveiled recently will see water defy gravity and flow upwards, organisers have announced. Water, earth and fire form the stunning ‘Expo 2020 Water Feature’, which will have an orchestral score from the award-winning composer of the Game of Thrones theme music.

“Experience giant sheets of water tumbling down 13-metre-high vertical walls that, by day, cascade into a mysterious, multi-hued circle of fire, and by night, defy gravity by flowing upwards,” organisers said.

This came as the Expo team announced more details about the two new attractions that have come up at the site. A 55-metre ‘Garden in the Sky’ observation tower with a ‘flying park’ was the other attraction that was unveiled as His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, visited the site on September 1.

Here is all you need to know about the new attractions.

Expo 2020 Water Feature

Situated between Al Wasl Plaza and Jubilee Park, the Expo 2020 Water Feature combines the elements of water, earth and fire.

“Visitors coming from Al Wasl Plaza enter a verdant 40-metre-wide garden of towering palms and fragrant plants rising above a series of curving paths that encircle the central water feature like ripples in a pond. Large planted walls rise up around the feature, with three openings to a central area that takes visitors below ground level,” the Expo 2020 team said.

The 153 individual waves range from glistening sheets to bursts of water that “literally leap from the walls as they make their dramatic descent to the plaza below”.

Visitors can walk to the base of the falls to see how the water disappears through the stone. “At night, the waves reverse themselves – producing a gravity-defying spectacle as they flow up the walls.”

At the feature’s centre is a “mysterious circle of fire” that produces enormous bursts of flames in hues of red, green and yellow. In keeping with Expo 2020’s theme of sustainability, these huge flames are of pure hydrogen and, therefore, produce no carbon.

Each surge of water is released on a musical cue, creating an orchestral masterpiece performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. The original score was written by the award-winning composer Ramin Djawadi, whose work includes the theme music for the HBO series Game of Thrones, which earned him Grammy Award nominations in 2009, 2018 and 2020.

The feature was created by California-based WET Design, which has built some of the world’s most iconic fountains and water features, including the dancing fountain at Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

Garden in the Sky

According to the Expo 2020 team, Garden in the Sky is an observation tower and ‘flying park’. It offers 360-degree views of the 4.38sqkm Expo 2020 Dubai site.

Located in Jubilee Park, the tower’s upper floor is planted with 10 Peltophorum inerme trees – also known as yellow flame trees — and is linked by stairs to the lower floor.

The interlinked cabins on the two floors rotate as visitors ascend and descend.

In addition to the observation tower, London-based Asif Khan’s works at Expo 2020 include the site’s three Entry Portals designed using strands of ultra-lightweight carbon-fibre composite; and its Public Realm.

Jubilee Park

Jubilee Park’s design is based on the wadi, a type of seasonal river that springs to life in the desert after heavy rains.

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