Expo 2020 Dubai: Singapore pavilion to showcase orchid named after Sheikha Fatima

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Dubai - The pavilion is considered to be one of the greenest pavilions at this year’s Expo.


Anjana Sankar

Published: Sun 19 Sep 2021, 6:20 PM

Last updated: Mon 20 Sep 2021, 9:34 AM

Singapore pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, will showcase a rare orchid named after Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bin Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, and the "Mother of the Nation."

The pavilion is considered to be one of the greenest pavilions at this year’s Expo.

Called the Dendrobium Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak orchid, it had been named after Her Highness on 22 March 2017.

Kamal Vaswani, Singapore’s ambassador to the UAE, said that Sheikha Fatima is the only UAE leader who has been honoured, by his government, in this way.

"It is a recognition of the strong bilateral ties shared with the UAE. It is also in recognition of her humanitarian contributions and the tremendous role she has played in the empowerment of women of the UAE," the ambassador told the Khaleej Times.

Singapore has named more than 200 orchids - its national flower - after state dignitaries such as the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon and his wife, as well as the late Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa.

The orchids are displayed at the VIP Orchid Garden, located just behind Burkill Hall in Singapore’s National Orchid Garden.

The Dendrobium Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak orchid is displayed at the flower dome inside the pavilion, and is expected to be in full bloom, during the Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Singapore Pavilion showcases green architecture to drive home the message that urban development has to integrate nature.

It has more than 170 varieties of plants within different layers of greenery in various spaces of the pavilion. From hanging gardens to vertical walls that feature plants of different varieties, the pavilion is a verdant paradise.

To achieve the lush multi-layered landscaping at the Singapore Pavilion, various plants have been procured from Dubai nurseries for pre-growing since 2019.

Ambassador Vaswani said Singapore will tell the story of it’s growth as a sustainable, resilient and liveable city. He drew a parallel between the UAE and Singapore, and said: “We both are forward looking countries. We look to the world for opportunities. We are both hubs as well. Like the UAE, Singapore also does not have natural resources and 90% of our food are imported. Our pavilion with the theme ‘Nature, Nurture Future’ will showcase how a very small country is able to grow, develop and create good livelihood and yet be sustainable”.

Robots to water plants at Singapore pavilion

The pavilion will deploy three climbing robots to water the plants in the vertical garden. Measuring about 70cm in diameter, the robots weighing 40kg each, will traverse the vertical green walls of the Pavilion’s thematic cones. Equipped with cameras and sensors, the robots monitor plant health and measure temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, oxygen in the Pavilion. Each robot is equipped with cameras and sensors, and is trained through machine learning to evaluate the health status of individual plants. As they move along green walls, the robots can recognise plants in poor health that need to be replaced, as well as capture data for the calibration of irrigation and grow light settings to help the plants thrive.

These dome-shaped robots are the result of a collaboration with Singapore-based robotics start-up Oceania Robotics, and they are among the first robots in the world deployed for the purpose of landscape maintenance on curved vertical green walls. These prototypes present a novel solution particularly relevant in Singapore, where the nation’s urban greening policies encourage building owners to inject more greenery into the buildings.


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