My Dubai Expo: Seychelles pavilion guide describes the Blue Economy

Terence Crea, one of the Seychelles pavilion's 16 guides, arrived in the UAE only a few weeks ago

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Terence Crea is one of 16 guides at the Seychelles pavilion, all of whom have been in Dubai for only three weeks having flown over especially for Expo 2020 Dubai.

Mr Crea, 39, got the job as pavilion guide because he works for the Blue Economy department – a government body under the Seychelles' Ministry of Fisheries, with a remit to create ocean-based sustainable development.

Two days ago we received about 3,000 visitors in one day. On the first day we had around 900, the day after that 500, so we're very busy
Terence Crea, Seychelles pavilion

"It's my first time in Dubai, and I was very excited when I was first made aware that I will be coming here to work at Expo 2020. I'm enjoying every moment," said Mr Crea, who is living in Expo staff accommodation adjacent to the site.

"We have a stand here, which is called the Blue Economy Room, where we give information in terms of how people and the ocean can coexist and live in harmony."

The exhibits also focus on the natural wonders of the island destination and the efforts being made to protect the local ecosystem and wildlife, as well as developing the tourism sector.

There is a treasure hunt at the pavilion, with clues hidden all about, but you'll have to visit to find out what the surprise is. A model of the much-loved coco de mer, an endangered palm tree endemic to the islands, also stands proud for visitors to see. Its enormous seed is the biggest of any plant in the world.

Because of the pavilion's popularity, the Seychelles staff have not had much time to explore the Expo, Mr Crea said.

"We do have breaks, but the hours we work here, and the number of visitors we get, at times it's quite tiring, and when you get home you just want to relax, go to bed and prepare for the next day," he said.

"Two days ago we received about 3,000 visitors in one day. On the first day we had around 900, the day after that 500, so we're very busy.

"We will have time eventually to visit the other pavilions, but in due time."

When Mr Crea does get the opportunity to tour the world's fair, he plans to explore the US pavilion on the recommendation of a colleague.

This week, the Americans welcomed veteran astronaut Scott Kelly, who holds the record for the longest space mission by a US citizen. The pavilion also houses a model of the SpaceX rocket, and a real rocks from the Moon.

An official visit

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, visited the Seychelles pavilion this week, as he toured the Sustainability district.

His tour came a few days after the UAE announced an ambitious initiative to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

Sheikh Mohammed said the country would “play its global role in combating climate change".

The UAE net-zero announcement comes ahead of the crucial Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow next month, which has been described as the most important summit since the Paris Agreement in 2015.

Updated: October 13, 2021, 2:28 PM