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People in Terra - The Sustainability Pavilion in COP28 Green Zone on Sunday at Expo City Dubai Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Thousands of residents and tourists got their first experience of COP28 in Dubai on Sunday, the first day of the public opening of the Green Zone at the UN climate conference.

The public Green Zone (as opposed to the delegates-only Blue Zone) has environment-themed displays, talks, and shows that are open to all members of the wider community who have obtained their free one-day Green Zone pass after registering online.

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Performers mingled with guests at the Green Zone on Sunday Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Sign a pledge with the Tree of Life

At the Green Zone’s Energy Hub, is a Tree of Life. Here you have your chance to make a pledge with a tree powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). The AI-driven Ghaf tree – the national tree of UAE - is also a symbol of environmental sustainability is considered sacred. Visitors will be able to register their name and other details.

They will be given a choice of environmental themes to choose from before signing their pledge. A screen of their personalised pledge will be available.

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The Tree of Life runs on AI and visitors can digitally take a pledge there Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Escape Room

This is a creative climate change and nature-themed experience presented by the Emirates Nature-WWF and the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.

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Building awareness is the main purpose of the attraction Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

A “Mangrove Edition” Escape Room is stationed at the Al Forsan Park (Green Zone area at Expo City Dubai). With a message to share - “Nature is a powerful ally in the fight against climate change” - the Escape Room helps you immerse yourself in the world of climate resilience as you step into the innovative escape room, set in a virtual mangrove forest. Here, visitors will discover the indispensable role mangroves play in safeguarding our environment from the impacts of climate change.

Emirati arts

Emirati Arts Culture by Al Ghadeer is a large space located at the Expo City Dubai where you can see local artisans’ work. The Emirati Arts Culture by Al Ghadeer helps local artisans build a more stable economy. They provide tools, training, and ways to sell their products. Al Ghadeer—meaning a small stream that helps things grow in Arabic—supports traditional crafts to help the community grow.

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Emiratis have practiced sustainability in everyday traditional life, including in their arts and crafts Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Through Emirati Sadu, Khous, Telli and pottery, among other crafts, the space here brings together traditional practices with contemporary designs that celebrate Emirati heritage. All sales’ proceeds go to helping local artisans.

The Swarm

The Swarm created by international artist Leonie Bradley showcases bees made by children using origami fortune tellers. It is an interactive exhibit in the sense that the Swarm also encourages COP28 delegates to participate by crafting their nature pledges, folding the fortune tellers and becoming part of a collective artwork.

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The installation is based on the Japanese art of folding paper Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

One World, One Humanity

At the Green Zone open-air pavilion, there is an immersive theatrical show embodying the spirit of COP28’s message – Unite, Act, Deliver. The show features characters narrating stories celebrating our interconnected world. The experience is expected to foster unity and inspire action to create an equitable future. Find this show over the weekends at 2pm, 6pm and 8pm.