UAE Pavilion at Expo 2023 Doha scoops gold for 'Best Self-built Pavilion' - GulfToday

UAE Pavilion at Expo 2023 Doha scoops gold for 'Best Self-built Pavilion'


Officials pose for a photo during the ceremony. WAM

The UAE Pavilion at Expo 2023 Doha won gold for the “Best Self-Built Pavilion”, culminating its participation in the six-month Expo 2023 Doha programme.

The UAE Pavilion's win came in recognition of its alignment with Expo 2023 Doha’s themes, innovative landscape design, thoughtful plant species selection, use of sustainable materials, and engaging environmental and cultural programming. Additionally, the UAE Pavilion was recognised for its guest experience, which reflected the UAE’s culture and sustainable journey.

Spanning 2,290 sqm and designed by the Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG), the Pavilion's design was inspired by the resilient Ghaf tree, the national tree of the UAE, embodying its entirety from its complex root structure to its branches and leaves, and featured rammed earth walls built from locally sourced materials and a roof made with palm leaves. The UAE Pavilion also included thorough landscaping, with a garden full of native and adaptive plants found in the UAE, with groupings of edible plants, fruit trees, medicinal plants, flowers, spices, shrubs, grasses, industrial plants, and perennials.

Commenting on the win, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of State, said, “Receiving the Golden award for the Best Self-Built Pavilion, underscores the strategic foresight of our leadership, and their unwavering support that propel the nation's distinguished presence in regional and international forums. We are committed to always participating as a country and pavilion in exceptional ways, showcasing our achievements across different sectors.”

She added, “We are honoured to be receiving this prestigious award which reflects the dedicated and relentless efforts of diverse teams within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, and the National Projects Office, under the guidance of H.H. Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairperson of the Presidential Court for National Projects. Over the past six months, the UAE Pavilion showcased the UAE’s rich agricultural heritage through its unique and innovative design, while fostering connections with Qatar and the global community.”

“We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Qatar for such an impressive global gathering, and I also extend our gratitude to the organisers, the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) and the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) for convening a successful horticultural expo that gathers great minds and ideas as we come together to create a more sustainable future," Al Kaabi concluded.

The UAE Pavilion guest experience comprised six multi-sensory interventions designed by Stuttgart-based Atelier Brückner (ATB), an experience design firm whose other notable work includes contributing to the Museum of the Future. Themed “Nurturing Legacy”, the pavilion presented a deep understanding of the UAE’s agricultural legacy and the nation’s dreamers and pioneers, who are contributing to a more sustainable and resilient future for all.

On this occasion, Ibrahim Salem Humaid Alalawi, Commissioner-General of the UAE Pavilion at Expo 2023 Doha, said, “We are thrilled to celebrate this award with the entire UAE Pavilion team and our guests, who made our experience in Doha truly special and unforgettable over the past six months. The UAE Pavilion has showcased our nation’s sustainability journey and its story with the world in Qatar, showing how our innovators and researchers look to our natural environment for inspiration to co-create solutions for a more sustainable and resilient future for all. More than 20 diverse programmes were also curated to engage innovators, researchers, and guests, with a particular focus on empowering the next generation.”

The UAE Pavilion's programming included panel discussions by featured dreamers and experts on agricultural innovations and food security; educational workshops for children to spark curiosity about the UAE's natural environment and sustainability; creative sessions that encouraged environmental mindfulness; and live cooking demonstrations featuring salt-tolerant plants that thrive in the UAE’s desert environment. The sessions were organised in collaboration with various UAE-based entities, including the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), Halophyte Kitchen, Lest We Forget, SWALIF Collective, and Early Starters.

“Nurturing Legacy” was the UAE’s third presentation at an International Horticultural Exposition, and was overseen by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and the National Projects Office. The UAE first participated in this kind of Horticulture Expo in Beijing 2019, then with “Salt Water Cities: Where Land Meets Sea” at the Floriade Expo 2022 in Almere, The Netherlands.


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