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Highlights & Impressions

Expo Blog

Thursday, April 18, 2024 07:22:53 AM

Blog for members of NBC to share personal tips, experiences and views of Expo 2020.
This first contribution is written by Willum van den Hoogen. Managing Director at Florius International and Vice Chair of The Netherlands Business Council UAE.


The Netherland Business Council was invited last week on the soft-launch of The Netherlands pavilion in the sustainability district at Expo2020 Dubai. The Netherlands together with all its partners delivered a true masterpiece presentation around the central theme of uniting Water, Energy & Food.

It was a very successful event, great to be with all the partners who made this project a reality and served with excellent hospitality.

Visiting the Expo2020 Dubai is on its own already impressive, it’s feels like a multicultural city within a city. Though the story The Netherlands tries to tell us was compelling. Using modern technologies and art within a fully circular pavilion they aim to show the visitors the interconnected future of Water, Energy & Food. (V8 Architects, Kossmann.de.jongh, Witteveen+Bos, Expomobilia)

To list a few, The Netherlands Pavilion:

  • Is build with rented construction equipment, and fully without the use of concrete. The outside is build from steel foundation sheets, as well as bio based materials on the inside. (Mogu)
  • Harvests up to 800L of water a day out of the thin air using renewable energy. (SunGlacier Technologies)
  • Generates its own renewable energy using special solar panels which filter the energy but let the growth light for plants through. (Marjan Van Aubel Studio)
  • The growth cone produces mushrooms in the dark moisty inside, and CO2 filtering, eatable plants & cresses on the outside. (Hoogendoorn, Leadax, BomGroup, Koppert Biological)
  • The restaurant is serving excellent plant based dishes and provides the guests clean filtered drinking water from within the pavilion. (VanderLinde Catering, Holland Water)
  • Though the most spectacular show comes when the sun sets, then the bio based curtain moves aside, and the growth lights show the pavilion in its full glory. (BuroBelen, Signify)
  • Finally, and after the Expo2020 Dubai, the pavilion will be fully decommissioned, building equipment returned to their owners and The Netherlands will return Dubai a plot of sand, just as they received it.
  • The Netherlands aims to tell the visitors a honest story in its pavilion, though also with a sense of urgency expressed in the various clocks showing the visitor, businesses and political leaders that it’s time to act.

The coming six months several missions of Dutch Entrepreneurs and Dutch Public Organisations will be visiting Dubai and the Expo 2020. These networking events will provide great opportunities for entrepreneurs in both the Middle East and the Netherlands to grow their businesses, and to exchange knowledge and the ideas of the future.

We as the Netherlands Business Council UAE will in the coming six months be actively participating in these events, sharing the various thematic networking opportunities with our members and we will be also organising our own networking events at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The first will be Thursday October 7, where we will be welcoming over 150 members of the Dutch Business community in the UAE to the Netherlands Pavilion and celebrating the kick-off for many networking events to come.

I will be looking very much forward to it, and I look forward meeting you all in Dubai during the Expo 2020.

Kind regards

Willum van den Hoogen

Treasurer and Director Expo2020


Please share with us your experience and tips for Expo 20201.  You can send your contribution to  office@nlbcuae.com