Expo 2020 Dubai: Opportunity Pavilion is all about change

The Opportunity Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. — Supplied photo
The Opportunity Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. — Supplied photo

Dubai - The pavilion looks at possible ways one can unlock the potential of individuals and communities

By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Sat 25 Sep 2021, 12:35 AM

The Opportunity pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020 is all set to offer plenty of learning experiences as the members of the media and some visitors got a preview of the important component of the world’s greatest show.

The pavilion is all about opportunity and positive change as it aims to encourage visitors to play an active role in creating a better future for generations to come.

One of the three subthemes of the world fair alongside Mobility and Sustainability, the Opportunity pavilion looks at possible ways one can unlock the potential of individuals and communities — harnessing the collective power of the global population to be a part of this change.

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The gates of the pavilion open up to three tracks which highlight key sustainable goals — food, water and energy — running parallel to each other and visitors can select any or all tracks based on their interests. These resources have been chosen since they are basic human needs essential for human progress.

Three ‘guides’ will play host to each of these tracks. These changemakers from different corners of the world have been selected as they have made a massive difference to their communities by helping conserve precious resources and create opportunities to benefit societies — without a lot of resources or money. Their work illustrates the Opportunity pavilion’s message that small action can, indeed, cause a massive ripple effect.

Visitors to the pavilion will get an opportunity to explore and learn about the changes that these ‘guides’ have made to their communities. It will show how other opportunities can be unlocked when the basic human requirements for water, food and energy are met.

The three guides chosen are Abel Cruz, Mariam Al Juneibi and Fatma Juma Haji and their story is nothing short of inspiring.

While Cruz has helped address the problem of water shortage in Lima, Peru, by setting up nets to harvest fog and turn it into water, Mariam Al Juneibi is UAE-based farmer who promotes sustainable farming and healthy eating practices, while also encouraging people to grow their own vegetables.

Fatma Juma Haji has ushered in a renewable energy revolution in Zanzibar — where less than four per cent of the population has access to electricity — by teaching women to instal solar panels and helping to create sustainable energy.

The three tracks lead to a hall where visitors are greeted by a number of screens and can play a game-challenge which teaches them how to be the change.

The tagline of the pavilion — Mission Possible — aptly sums up overriding message of the pavilion — if we act now, we can create a better future for everyone!

The pledge room

The most interesting area at the pavilion is the ‘Pledge Room’. Visitors enter this upside-down space ‘through the clouds’ and are asked to commit to a course of action that will make a difference to lives of people in their community.

Pledges made are then transported to the ‘garden’, a representation on the ceiling of the room.


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