Expo 2020 Dubai: Luxembourg pavilion echoes old World Fairs with giant fun slide

Visitors will zip past green woodlands that will capture 'all of your senses'

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One of the world’s smallest countries is adding the finishing touches to a giant slide inside its Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion to remind visitors of traditional funfair rides.

When visitors go down the three-storey slide, made of stainless steel and plexiglass, they will see trees and plants across an atrium, recreating Luxembourg's lush green woodlands.

The main construction work was completed this month.

It will give you a good feel of the valleys and gorges that you can find in Luxembourg

Maggy Nagel, commissioner general of Luxembourg at Expo 2020 Dubai, said she would take the stairs and go down the 21-metre high slide when the World Fair opens in October.

"I will, of course, use the slide as it will be quite a thrill to just slide down through the atrium," she told The National.

“But I will also use the stairs as there are different scenes from Luxembourg to be seen in spheres that we have positioned over the handrail.

“The greenery representing typical landscapes of Luxembourg will be in the atrium. Due to security reasons, we will not be able to make it as luscious as in reality but it will give you a good feel of the valleys and gorges that you can find in Luxembourg.

"The fragrance that we have developed is a beautiful interpretation of the scents of the woods and plants that we have in Luxembourg.”

Organisers are keen to recreate the fun element of fairs such as Luxembourg's popular Schueberfouer. The annual event has more than 200 rides that attract more than two million visitors every summer.

The $32 million pavilion also boasts unusual architecture that will make visitors step back and consider the concept of an object with no boundaries.

The outer curved steel structure that runs in a continuous loop resembles a broad ribbon with no end.

The form is based on the Mobius strip, or one-sided surface, discovered by a German mathematician in 1858.

Timelapse of the Luxembourg pavilion at Expo 2020

Timelapse of the Luxembourg pavilion at Expo 2020

Organisers aim to convey a circular and dynamic economy through a thought-provoking structure that will draw people in.

Ms Nagel promises an experience to capture “all of your senses”.

A quiz before entry will provide visitors with unusual facts about the country and its people.

They will be greeted with a virtual message from the Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, the country’s head of State.

Another highlight is a short animation film about the nation’s commitment to sustainability.

Ms Nagel said the six-month expo will send out a message of hope.

“The pandemic, tragic as it is for so many people, has shown us how essential it is to stay connected and to be resourceful in order to overcome crises and to create a better future,” she said.

“The theme of this Expo has become even more meaningful and discussing these issues together is ever more urgent. We are thankful to Dubai and the UAE for their determination and resilience that will make this Expo happen. This is indeed a very timely event that sends an important positive message.”

A Michelin-star chef has planned the dishes that will be served in the Schengen Lounge where students from the Ecole d'Hotellerie et de Tourisme du Luxembourg, a hotel and tourism school, will work.

Ms Nagel said guests will be surprised with modern food and classic Luxembourg fare, such as ginger fish sauce drizzled on pan-seared river trout with dill oil and roasted fennel.

“There will be so many other dishes that people should try and you will also find international flavors that are a reflection of Luxembourg’s heritage and its diversity,” she said.

The organisers are also working on a digital tour for people who cannot visit the pavilion.

Luxembourg was the first country in June 2016 to officially confirm its participation with a national pavilion.

The expo is expected to attract 25 million visits.

Renderings of Expo Pavilions