Dubai: Local entrepreneur buys Expo 2020’s Netherlands pavilion

An 18-metre tall vertical farm with more than 9000 herbs and plants and an oyster mushroom nursery that formed the Netherlands pavilion's centrepiece attracted thousands of curious minds during EXPO 2020.

An 18-meter tall vertical farm with more than 9000 herbs and plants and an oyster mushroom nursery that formed the Netherlands pavilion’s centerpiece attracted thousands of curious minds during EXPO 2020.

Although the pavilion has been closed to visitors since the EXPO 2020 has ended, Dubai residents can still go and visit the farm whenever they want, or they can even taste the locally-produced mushrooms soon.

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Dima Al Srouri, a local entrepreneur and educator of Dubai, bought the oyster mushroom farm and the system from the Dutch pavilion.

She said she has various plans to open the farm by this summer and will be starting supply to local restaurants. The farm will also be utilized for educational purposes.

Srouri, who teaches Urban Planning at the Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi, said, “The Netherlands pavilion was an ideal example of an ecosystem where oyster mushrooms produced Co2, and the plants consumed it. We have bought the farm and will soon be ferrying into a new area in Dubai.”

The plants will be sent back to the local supplier and will be converted into compost so that they can be used as food for other plants.

The organisers said that during the period of six months when the Expo was going on, ‘tonnes of mushrooms’ were produced using a circular climate system that linked energy, food, and water within the biotope of the dutch pavilion.

An ideal prototype of the circular economy was made, encouraging visitors to consider integrated solutions for sustainable methods of living.

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A chimney at the top of the cone soaks water and air was made using a condensation process that was powered through solar panels fitted on the rooftop of the Netherlands pavilion.

A brainchild of Dutch company SunGlacier Technologies and designer Ap Verheggen, the procedure could make up to 1,200 litres of water a day to feed the herbs and plants on the exterior of the cone. The mushrooms were cultivated inside the darkened interiors of the giant cone.

Tariq Saeed

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