Dubai Expo 2020 to tell story of human relationship with nature

Exhibition Terra will guide visitors through a series of habitats to highlight the wonders of the natural world and the impact of plastic waste

Visitors to Dubai's Expo 2020 will explore the impact of humans on the planet in an exhibition designed to encourage people to make more sustainable choices.

Terra, at the Sustainability Pavilion, will guide visitors through a series of habitats to highlight the wonders of the natural world and underscore the urgent need to solve problems like plastic waste.

The experience includes an Arabian wadi, which was once home to cheetahs and elephants. In addition, there will be an interactive walk through the roots of a forest to show how every footstep affects it, as well as an encounter with a deep-sea fish whose system is clogged with plastic waste. Solutions to environmental problems will be on show in the Laboratory of Future Values.

“Humankind has had an enormous impact on the world and Expo 2020’s Terra experience is designed to reveal the magnitude of this impact in a way that is personal and inspiring,” said John Bull, director of the Sustainability Pavilion.

“It will be a stirring, and at times emotional, experience as visitors come face-to-face with the significance of their individual choices. We hope they will emerge with a new perspective that inspires millions of people of all ages to take action in their own lives as we all come together to welcome a better future.”

Everything in the pavilion will be sustainably-made – even down to the food and packaging sold on the premises.

The building will include a 130-metre-wide canopy, which will use the sun’s rays to generate electricity during the day and collect water from the air at night. It will also include more than 2,800 solar panels, including some fitted to trees that will rotate to face the sun. In total, the technology will help produce up to 22,000 litres of water a day and generate enough electricity to charge more than 900,000 mobile phones.

The building and grounds will cover 29,000 square metres –that's larger than the size of Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The content for the exhibit was designed in collaboration with US firm Thinc Design and the UK’s Eden Project, which houses the world’s largest indoor rainforest.

Sustainability is a key theme of the Expo, which begins next October and will run for six months.