International Exposition of Zaragoza 2008 - Expo 2008

Water and sustainable development

June 14, 2008 - September 14, 2008


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United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates at the Exhibition Expo Zaragoza 2008

© Philippe Lemaire

Water has been and still is a key element in the development of the United Arab Emirates, and it is this reality that this pavilion aims to show at the Expo. The centrepiece of the exhibition is a virtual space with undefined borders, whose dimensions are blurred and whose lighting creates the illusion of movement to evoke the history of the Emirates: deserts with isolated oases that give way to a phase of expansion linked to the discovery of oil, which brought new solutions to the lack of drinking water, and finally, a futuristic area where water appears to be a determining factor in progress. Three generations of the same family bear witness to the significant impact of the changes that have taken place in the country. While highlighting the extreme aridity of the climate, the dramatisation begins with the grandfather's comments on how the Emirates have preserved their water resources through the use of specific methods of storing and distributing water and the adaptation of life to the availability of water. His son reveals how the discovery of oil allowed access to hidden reserves and the construction of desalination plants. The country, until then one of the poorest in the world, has thus become one of the richest. Finally, his grandson explains how the country is looking to the future to consolidate the advances made and is seeking sustainable solutions to the difficult equation between supply and demand.

© Exposicion International Zaragoza 2008