1 Week Down, 25 To Go! | Top 5 New Zealand Pavilion Highlights From Expo 2020 Dubai

One week ago today, Expo 2020 Dubai opened its doors, and we began sharing Aotearoa New Zealand's story of Care for People and Place with the world.

From a special ceremony to dedicate the ‘mauri’ or life principle of our pavilion to performances, speaking events and welcoming thousands of visitors through our pavilion experience, and diners to the pavilion restaurant Tiaki, it's been a thrilling start to what will be an incredible six months.


Here's a look at the highlights from the New Zealand Pavilion's first week at Expo 2020 Dubai:


Tāngaengae Dawn Ceremony | 30 September

As the sun rose over Expo 2020 Dubai on 30 September, guests gathered alongside Emirati officials and Māori leaders for a special dawn dedication ceremony. A pivotal moment in the Aotearoa New Zealand Pavilion's Expo 2020 journey, the ceremony began with a traditional Emirati welcome followed by members of Whanganui Iwi dedicating the ‘mauri’ of our pavilion, story and experience, which is inspired by the Whanganui River/Te Awa Tupua. It was also a chance to acknowledge the cultural bonds we share with the UAE and its people.


Ngāti Koraha Kapa Haka | 3 & 4 October

Expo 2020's Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre came to life as UAE-based group, Ngāti Koraha, shared powerful and emotional Kapa Haka performances on 3 and 4 October. Showcasing an important element of Aotearoa New Zealand's identity, these performances which included song, dance and haka, gave Expo 2020 visitors as taste of what's to come in our Expo programming, including on our National Day on 31 January 2022.


The Royal Family Dance Crew Workshops | 4 & 5 October

We danced our way through four fun-filled dance workshops led by members of the 3x World Mega Crew Hip Hop Champions, The Royal Family Dance Crew! With the crew having danced for the likes of JLo, Rihanna, Ciara and Justin Bieber and choreographed by our very own Creative Director, Parris Goebel, they brought their high-energy workshops to Expo 2020 Dubai’s Sports, Fitness and Wellbeing Hub and had participants dancing up a storm.


The full Royal Family Dance Crew will be back to help us celebrate our National Day in January next year.


Climate and Biodiversity Week Speakers | 3 & 6 October

How do we work together to better manage climate change and protect biodiversity?


In-person speakers from New Zealand – Gerrard Albert, Whanganui Iwi-Te Ati Hau-nui-a-Paparangi, and Jason Boberg, Disability Rights Advocate & Social Entrepreneur – were part of this conversation at People & Planet Programme events held during Expo 2020 Dubai's Climate and Biodiversity Week (3-9 October).


New Zealand Merino Global Head of Markets and Sustainability, Dave Maslan was also streamed in via a pre-recorded talk about “Regenerative Agriculture: The tools, the process, the opportunity.” He spoke about introducing a ground-breaking framework “the RX index” for regenerative agriculture from New Zealand’s wool industry. The RX index operationalizes the movement beyond sustainability and introduces a model for advancing natural materials.


Our first #TourTuesday! | 5 October


This week we launched of very first #TourTuesday with a digital tour of the UAE Pavilion – the host country of Expo 2020 Dubai. Each week over the next six months, we will explore one of the incredible 190+ pavilions. Stay tuned for next week!


Check out our events calendar for upcoming events and performances.


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