Dubai: Sweden celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai on Wednesday with a royal visit by King Carl XVI Gustaf and a flag-raising ceremony at Al Wasl Plaza. King Carl XVI Gustaf, accompanied by a number of dignitaries, was welcomed by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, and Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai.
King Carl XVI also congratulated the UAE on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee. He said: “Being here reminds me of a quote by [the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE] that is well-known to all Emiratis: ‘A nation without a past is a nation without a present or future’. It is inspiring to see that with the UAE’s impressive development, Emiratis continue to live by his creed. The UAE’s past, present and future are truly reflected here at Expo 2020 Dubai, as well as throughout this nation. It is my pleasure to congratulate you all on the occasion of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee.”
His Majesty pointed out that both the UAE and Sweden were aiming to build sustainable cities. He noted: “Sweden and the UAE stand united behind one word, and that is innovation. Innovation has played a huge role in Sweden’s economic growth and development. Innovation is not born in a vacuum — innovation thrives through co-creation. Simply put, we are smarter together than apart. And through innovation we are able to find common solutions to common challenges.”
King Carl XVI added: “Expo gives us the possibility to develop innovative solutions not just for the good of our own country but for the global market and global good. It is a true opportunity for co-creation, for innovation. I’m confident that the partnership created here at the Expo will strengthen cooperation between Sweden and the UAE and the countries of the world, and that we will be able to generate new ideas and solutions together.”
Focus on sustainability
Sheikh Nahyan said: “Sweden’s participation underlines the importance of focusing on sustainability in every aspect, whereby the Swedish woodlands combine with Islamic geometric design to inspire both the architecture and storytelling of the pavilion, which promotes Sweden as an innovative, sustainable and business-friendly country, which strongly believes that dedication and joint commitment are essential to releasing the powers of creativity and innovation.”
“Sweden has been a reliable and cooperative partner of the UAE in various fields of mutual interest, such as environmental and energy technology, business, and education, and we hope to build on the existing partnerships between both our countries as we explore new areas for collaboration at Expo 2020 Dubai,” Sheikh Nahyan added
Located in the Sustainability District, the Sweden Pavilion combines a Nordic woodland-inspired experience with Middle Eastern architectural flair. Visitors can stroll through paths flanked by wooden trunks and learn how Sweden is building smart cities, developing the next generation of travel, innovating life sciences and developing a bio-circular economy.
The pavilion’s tree-filled design leads you through a variety of ‘clearings’ among the stylised trunks, where interactive multimedia exhibits explore themed topics. The pavilion showcases next-generation travel systems, allows visitors to immerse themselves in futuristic smart cities, and listen to the authentic sounds of Sweden’s rich woodlands, topped off with a Swedish coffee break.
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For the Sweden National Day celebrations, a cultural showcase featured Cirkus Cirkor, a leading Scandinavian circus company based in Sweden, as well as the Swedish artist and songwriter, Molly Sanden. Cirkus Cirkor’s performance centred on an energetic acrobatics display.
Sanden, meanwhile, is famous for being the singing voice of Rachel McAdams’ character in the Netflix hit, Eurovision, and she received an Oscar nomination for best original song in the film, with Husavik. The performer lent her strong voice to a Christmas song, Come Whatever, Come What May in English and sang other musical numbers in Swedish.