Dubai: Underlining its commitment to sustainable development, Malaysia unveiled details of its unique ‘Rainforest Canopy’ pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on Wednesday.
Covering an area of 1,234 m2, the Malaysia pavilion is the first Net Zero Carbon initiative at Expo 2020 Dubai. It is an architectural wonder mixing esoteric design and elements of animation to offer a sublime experience of the human-nature relationship to visitors, said Malaysian Ambassador Mohd Tarid Sufian.
Expo 2020 Dubai will run from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. It is the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. , and the first to be hosted by an Arab country.
The pavilion will have a waterfall effect against the backdrop of a desert landscape. The stream originates from the top of the pavilion and winds along the ramp, which gives the impression of a suspension bridge when walking over it. The light poles have been designed to sway with the wind and the pavilion itself is made with a lightweight structure and can be taken apart for reuse.
The exhibition rooms are suspended on very long slender legs, hovering 4 to 6 meters above the ground. The three exhibition rooms will have an impression of “touching the ground lightly, intended to evoke references to a tropical jungle”.
“We wanted to reiterate the need to have a sustainable outlook on life and business in these difficult times through our ‘Rainforest Canopy’ concept at Expo 2020 Dubai – a nodal global event contributing to post-Covid economic recovery efforts , ”Sufian noted.
Overcome the pandemic
For Malaysia, Expo 2020 Dubai is a strategic platform to accelerate economic growth and overcome the impact of the pandemic. The Malaysian pavilion will benefit from the participation of 22 ministries, 40 agencies and five Malaysian state governments. The entities will run a total of 26 weekly sales and marketing programs throughout the show for six months. It is also estimated that at least 200 Malaysian business delegations will visit the Expo.
“In line with the theme of Expo 2020 Dubai – ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ – the Pavilion will bring together a diverse group of companies from more than ten different industry sectors spread across six clusters,” Sufian noted.
Man and nature
The Malaysian Rainforest Canopy Lodge is located between the sustainability and mobility districts. According to Sufian, the theme of the Malaysian pavilion is “Energizing Sustainability,” which reflects the country’s commitment to balancing socio-economic progress with environmental protection and fostering the symbiotic relationship between man and nature.
Meranti wood – from the tree native to Southeast Asia – has been used extensively for the facade of the pavilion to make a statement on sustainable forestry practices and wood products from Malaysia.
“Visitors will find the ‘Rainforest Canopy’ concept in the midst of the enchanting desert, with clusters of trees to walk through, flanked by rugged flora and fauna and a river meandering in between. The aim is to rekindle the experience of benign nature and reflect on how it has protected humanity throughout the period, ”noted Shamsul Bahar Mohd Nor, CEO of the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Center. (MGTC), the executing agency for Expo 2020.
He added that the pavilion is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy savings of 20% through environmentally friendly architecture and construction. “The construction of the pavilion was a difficult project, but also an exciting one as it combined superior skills and imagination to provide visitors with an immersive experience of being in a rainforest,” he added.
Strong bilateral relations
At the same time, Sufian noted that Malaysia’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai will improve bilateral trade and investment. The UAE is the GCC’s largest trading partner and export destination for Malaysia. Total bilateral trade in 2020 was $ 4.9 billion (MAD 18 million), of which $ 2.03 billion was exports and $ 2.89 billion was imports. The UAE is also Malaysia’s second largest source of imports after Saudi Arabia. Sufian added that Expo 2020 Dubai will also help Malaysia revive its tourism sector.