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29 November 2023

Netherlands kicks off its Expo pavilion construction with innovative water harvest

By Wam

The Netherlands has kicked off construction of the Expo 2020 Dutch Pavilion in Dubai on Tuesday during a groundbreaking ceremony, the Dutch Consulate in Dubai announced.

As a symbol of innovation and connection, a senior Dutch diplomat made a presentation on water harvesting, detailing the Dutch Expo theme ‘Uniting Water Food and Energy', reflecting the country's knowledge and expertise in the sustainability sector.

Dutch Consul-General and Commissioner-General, Hans Sandee, presented on behalf of the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, a bottle of water harvested from air in the Netherlands to Najeeb Mohammed Al Ali, Executive Director of Expo 2020 Dubai, during the ceremony, a statement by the Dutch consulate revealed.

"It is important to realise our responsibility towards our planet and future generations. By showcasing home-grown solutions that link the issues of water, energy and food, we are keen to contribute to Expo 2020 Dubai," said Minister Sigrid Kaag, in a speech recorded from the beach in the Netherlands, which was broadcast at the event.

Al Ali said, "Today’s groundbreaking ceremony and this unique bottle of water harvested from air reflects the Netherlands’ innovative approach to Expo 2020 Dubai. We look forward to continuing to work with the Dutch team and seeing what other exciting technologies will feature in the Dutch pavilion at Expo 2020."

The unique biotope, designed by V8 Architects, which the Netherlands is going to construct as the Dutch Pavilion showcases the Dutch innovation, inventiveness and openness. The biotope connects water, energy and food in a circular way. The production of water from desert air powered by solar is one of the impressive inventions that will be on display from 20th October next year in the Dutch Pavilion.

Dutch artist-innovator-entrepreneur Ap Verheggen and his team are the people behind the SunGlacier technology that makes this feat possible.

"Our solar-powered water-from-air technology will enable us to produce food in the future without being dependent on rainfall, rivers or other traditional sources of water," Verheggen said.

Some 250 Dutch businesses are active in the UAE, with Dutch exports to the Gulf region totalling more than €11 billion, said the press release.