Dubai: Visitors to the Swiss Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will go through a “journey of emotions” as they venture into a simulated experience of the mesmerising alpine scenery.
“Switzerland is known for its mountains, lakes, rivers, chocolates, cheese, charming cities as well as scenic train rides that showcase the best of the country’s natural vistas and these are what we are bringing to Dubai,” Manuel Salchli, commissioner-general of the Swiss Pavilion and chairman of the Steering Committee, told Gulf News in an interview here on Wednesday.
“It will be a journey of positivity and happiness,” he underlined, adding: “We all have gone through difficult times for more than one year now and we wanted to deliver at the Swiss Pavilion the spirit of positivity that will make visitors feel relaxed and happy. Final touches are being given to Switzerland’s cubic pavilion, that will be ready ahead of the Expo opening on October 1.”
The theme of the cubic and mirror-clad Swiss Pavilion is ‘Reflections’. Salchli said: “The facade of the Swiss Pavilion is the first stop in the ‘journey of emotions’. Visitors will definitely take ‘selfies’ in front of the pavilion and then they will pass through the red carpet and walk inside to continue their journey.”
Visitors will also see at the entrance inventions by Swiss innovators and as they go inside — for the second destination — they will enter a small, dark corridor with a sea of fog, Salchli added, noting: “This will imbue another emotion — a feeling ‘uncertainty’ about what’s inside.” The fog will be accompanied by a background of musical instruments evoking the sound of nature.
“After passing through the dense fog comes the exciting part as visitors will find themselves travelling to the mountains. The vertical transport, created by our partner Schindler, also represents the transportation of tomorrow,” Salchli continued.
“This is the third emotion — a feeling of positivity, after a bit of uncertainty,” he added.
Visitors will have a panoramic view of the Swiss Alps as they watch a feature film showcasing the scenic snow-capped mountain range. Salchli said visitors will not only see the country as an attractive tourist destination, but they will also get to know how the people of Switzerland live and create a city of tomorrow because of their sustainable and environment-friendly activities.
From positivity to sustainability
Salchli underlined that the message of sustainability will be at the core of the Swiss Pavilion. “From creating an emotion of positivity, we will delve into the issue of sustainability,” he noted.
One of the central topics at the pavilion is circular economy. Switzerland will showcase the advances it has made in recycling glass and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles as well as generating energy from organic waste.
Salchli said apart from inventions by Swiss innovators, they will also highlight the partnerships with leading universities and start-ups promoting circular economy and tackling global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste and pollution.
He added that the Swiss pavilion will also serve as a platform to discuss ideas and inventions presented through workshops and networking events.
Relax at the pavilion terrace
For those who want to relax after visiting the Swiss pavilion, Salchli is recommending they head straight to the pavilion terrace, where Swiss snacks and other delicacies will be on offer, including cheese, meat platters and mini potatoes stuffed with fondue cheese.
Back in 2016, Switzerland became the first country to confirm its participation in the world fair. Salchli is confident of the Expo’s success, being the first major international event post-COVID where people will be able to meet and mingle again physically but with safety precautionary measures in place.
As for the Swiss legacy, he underlined: “We would like the visitors to leave the Swiss Pavilion with a positive feeling that will last beyond the six months of Expo 2020 Dubai.”