Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Justin Harvey Llamoda | Filipino, 26, PR Manager

At Expo 2020, I went to view the several sustainability initiatives fronted by various nations. The Czech Republic showcased technology on transforming the desert into an oasis. Singapore showed what tech has to offer in repopulating the endangered plant species, which may be the solution to our current needs. Sweden used technology to connect the visitors to their sustainable initiatives and had live talks about caring for the environment. Smaller nations such as Gabon were also in the mix, featuring its rich biodiversity and how it is being protected.

Viddi Kataria | Indian, 35, Entreperneur

I have visited Expo 2020 multiple times with family and friends, visiting several pavilions and creating memories. I was particularly delighted with the India pavilion and loved its dynamism and forward-thinking outlook. My favourite was the Statue of Unity at the pavilion, which became more meaningful in the UAE, where leaders brought people together during difficult times. It witnessed my country’s deep rooted rich heritage, and I felt proud to see its pioneering technological and economic advancements.

Fadwa Shawgi | Sudanese, 39, General manager for a charity

I came from Khartoum, Sudan, to visit Expo 2020, and to especially view its Mobility District. I visited many pavilions, but was genuinely delighted to see the Sudan Pavilion. It beautifully showcased the hidden part of our country, and its beautiful culture and traditions that are rarely highlighted in the media. The scenes at the central courtyard, sounds of water flowing depicting the River Nile, and infinite opportunities made the trip a remarkable experience.

Dr Rami Labib Kamel | Egyptian, 51, Specialist Urologist

Dubai Expo 2020 is the most soulful place I have ever visited in the UAE. I went to see the Egyptian pavilion in the opportunity District that uncovered the story of Egyptians and our past/present achievements and the new era of opportunities and vision of a prosperous future for tourism in Egypt. I explored the Sustainability District (Brazil and Singapore Pavilion), where I witnessed some of the world’s most advanced technology in action and experienced how humans can live in harmony with nature in a high-tech future.

Dr Sadia Mustafa | Pakistani, 40, General Practitioner

I had a wonderful time visiting Expo 2020 with my family and managed to view only eight pavilions in the day. The Pakistan pavilion looked gorgeous, with bright lights all around. The Switzerland pavilion was my favourite; it was beautiful and allowed people to hold red umbrellas, which I enjoyed. And lastly, we ended with some delicious Domino’s Pizza before leaving the venue.

Asaad Masri | Lebanese, 35, Communications Consultant

I completed all the country pavilions in 12 trips. I was intrigued to see the transitions between the cultural past and the promising future at each pavilion. Germany showed a great experience on future cities, sustainability, biodiversity and energy; the USA was brilliant, inviting guests into a moving walkway so you won’t skip any part of the pavilion. At the Vision Pavilion, the story of Ruler of Dubai was very well portrayed, highlighting his childhood, mastery in several Emirati traditions like equestrian sports, pearl hunting, etc., that formulated his vision towards a greater UAE.

Joanna King | Australian, 45, Director of Marketing & Communications at a commercial and outsourcing consulting company

I have not been to Australia during the Pandemic; experiencing the Australian pavilion and its delightfully familiar culinary offerings helped me calm my feelings of homesickness. I also had the privilege to attend a wide range of stimulating business events hosted at the Australian pavilion. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Australia also stood as my favourites that cleverly blended technology and culture in all respective displays.

Devanand Mahadeva | Sri Lankan, 53, Lawyer (Legal Advisor)

I felt an incredible sense of achievement, completing visiting all 192 country pavilions. During my visits, I learned about multiple events that changed our world and the fascinating cultures that abound, which revised my list of things to do and places to visit. Saudi, Palestine and Iran pavilions and Alif pavilion were marvellous showcasing mobility, and the Terra pavilion nicely depicted the impact of mass consumption on our planet.

Rodrigo Vieira Motta | Brazilian, 25, Doctor

I have come from Brazil and visited Expo 2020, especially the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and Switzerland’s pavilions, which were marvellous. I was particularly drawn to the latter because of the immersive experience right when you go in and have to walk uphill in the Swiss Alps amidst the dense fog. When you reach the top, you get to hear about the importance of sustainable thinking and how the country is already addressing important aspects to promote access to water around the world to future generations.

Alejandro Garrido Perez | Panama, 30, Architect/TV Personality/ Producer

I travelled from Panama to be there on Opening Day, and I’m so glad I did. Managing to visit all 192 Country Pavilions in the first days of Expo will forever be one of my most fun achievements ever. My experiences, memories, and connections with those I met will forever stay close to my heart. Seeing the whole world come together in one space is a powerful and beautiful statement of humanity to future generations.

Ekaterina Malikova | Russian, 32, Astrologer

I am visiting Dubai from Russia. A trip to Expo 2020 felt like being on another planet. It’s remarkable to see how each pavilion is creatively built, broadly revolving around the theme of connecting the minds and creating the future. ALIF pavilion beautifully reflected the past, present, and future bond. We can admire the ancestors who led us to what we have now, see the beauty of what has already been built and start dreaming and inventing a better world for the next generation. Visiting ALIF will broaden the mind, inspire us to make something great and understand the driving force of UAE is there is no impossible in life.

Ranju Kapoor | Indian, 54, Chartered Accountant

I managed to visit up to 192 pavilions and two non-member states at Expo 2020, experiencing new-age technology from virtual and augmented reality, projections of fusion of colour, art, and cultural offerings of so many countries in one location. Spain’s pavilion showcased a fusion of art and technology. Saudi Arabia’s immersive experience combined cultural exposure with new technology. Morocco, Thailand, and Peru embodied the best cultural experience, leaving an enduring impression.

Roydon Dmello | Indian, 40, CEO of a trading firm

I visited Expo 2020 three times, and I learned something new. I attended the Korean roadshow staged in Al Wasl Dome, which was very insightful, gave me fresh updates on products, services, and new business opportunities that I can utilize in my business. I felt proud at the Indian pavilion, one of the largest, showcasing our nation’s accomplishments, rich culture and traditions.

Katrina Alvez | Filipino, 42, Listing & Administration Coordinator at a real estate firm

The highlight of my Expo experience was the Coldplay concert. It’s impressive how the Expo team provided the opportunity for us to watch foreign artists perform live. I saw over 30 pavilions, and my favourites were Campus Germany, India and Saudi Arabia, which put incredible effort to showcase their culture and future plans. And Terra and Alif fascinated me in technology and sustainability.

Joanne Rico | Filipino, 39, Head of Marketing and Sales in healthcare

As a passionate marketer, I enjoyed the colourful programs staged in Al Wasl Dome, and the vast array of food selections from across the world is impressive. The Philippines was my favourite; delighted to see the authentic Filipino architecture, art, and design in the form of bangkota (coral reef). I journeyed its organic, free-flowing space, which accentuates connectivity and meaningful encounters in the Filipino culture.