The Malaysia Pavilion remains popular amongst visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai as many call it one of the top pavilions they’ve visited. With the theme “Energising Sustainability,” the pavilion marked its one millionth visitor during the second week of March. In addition, it was also named one of the top three Best Sustainable Designs at Expo 2020 Dubai by the EXHIBITOR Magazine’s World Expo Awards.
Gigi Elhattab, an ex-air hostess turned hospitality specialist from Egypt, has visited Malaysia numerous times. “Visiting the pavilion took me back to my days in Malaysia. It has managed to capture the culture and essence of the country perfectly. Even the food at Nur Malaysia leaves me with nostalgia,” Elhattab commented. “I always insist on bringing my friends to the pavilion whenever I visit Expo with someone new.”
John and Amber de Fraine, along with their children Lilly and Oscar, have visited all the country pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai and commented after their visit:
“The Malaysia Pavilion is wonderful. The ‘tree of life’ with LED lights is really amazing. We loved the pavilion,” said John who is from England and whose wife hails from New Zealand.
The video presentation about Malaysia’s efforts to preserve its rainforest was a hit amongst their children as Lilly and Oscar simultaneously shouted out with glee “the rainforest” when asked what they enjoyed the most.
Numerous publications also named the pavilion one of the best pavilions at expo, including Bayut naming it the best pavilion in the Jubilee Zone and Lifestyle Asia, ranking it among its top seven favourite pavilions.
A Malaysian couple who only wanted to be known as Warith and Adibah and who have lived in Dubai for six years said: “As Malaysians we do feel like the video presentation is representing our rain forest digitally. We are very impressed by the digital content of the Pavilion.”
The pavilion is designed with a Rainforest Canopy concept and has seven exhibition halls which are named as canopies. They are the exhibit halls of Malaysian Rainforest, Sustainable Agricommodities, Malaysia 2030 (two halls), Re-energising the Future, Smart City and Smart Network.
Rated amongst the visitors’ favourite part of the pavilion was Canopy 1 entitled “Malaysian Rainforest” which transports them to an immersive rainforest experience through a 3D digital show, and Canopy 4 themed ‘Re-Energising the Future’ which showcases oil and gas company PETRONAS’ transformation plan and aspiration towards Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050, through a hanging cube with 5 LED surfaces.
“The giant Petronas cube was unexpected but amazing to see,” Warith added.
Several staff of other pavilion had good reviews of the Malaysia Pavilion. Graham Dowling from the Ireland Pavilion said: “Absolutely phenomenal. From the start, you learn all about the rainforest and the eco-system they have there. And as you go in you learn about innovations by companies like Petronas while towards the end you get to see a phenomenal show of traditional song and dance of ‘Malaysia, Truly Asia.’”
Meanwhile, Mauro Padula from Uruguay Pavilion found that “the architecture is truly amazing. You get in and see how it feels to be in a rainforest while the cultural shows are truly amazing.”
The Malaysia Café, with a menu of traditional Malaysian cuisine by Nur Malaysia and popular fast food chain, Marrybrown, is just as popular. Marrybrowns was rated as the best affordable restaurant to eat at by both Gulf News and Dubai Night. It is not uncommon to find a queue stretching outside the café especially during weekends.
The Malaysia Pavilion is a net-zero carbon pavilion which aims to instil in visitors the importance of creating a sustainable future, share the vibrant cultures of Malaysia through its cultural performances and showcase the nation’s sustainable industries through 26 weekly thematic business and trade programmes.