Floriade – the international horticultural exhibition – opened its doors this month in Almere (The Netherlands), featuring diverse, interactive pavilions celebrating the nature and culture of 33 countries around the world. 

The international exposition, which is only held once every ten years, will run until October 9, 2022. With this year’s theme entitled ‘Growing Green Cities’, the exhibition invites visitors to look closer at the urban ecosystems that sustain society, while asking what we can learn from our natural environment, and why it’s worthy of celebration.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Pavilion at the Floriade presents “Salt Water Cities, where land meets the sea”. In the Pavilion, they share what “growing green cities” means in their challenging landscape where water scarcity, searing heat and salty soil making typical horticulture almost impossible to grow in a sustainable way.

Salt Water Garden

Visitors are taken on a multi-sensory and immersive journey that begins in the Salt Water Garden, inspired by gardens in the UAE and protected by a wall made of 3D printed recycled plastic. The garden showcases a sustainable bio saline farming system – common in the UAE – that produces food and protects the environment.

The Halophyte gallery

The experience continues in the halophyte gallery, which highlights the importance of four plants that thrive in saltwater – Salicornia, mangroves, microalgae and sea grass. Each plant is represented by media and a glass sculpture that shows their unique beauty.

The UAE pavilion was designed by Tellart, an Amsterdam-based experience design agency, the pavilion features a stunning sculptural enclosed garden, and interactive exhibition space. 

The UAE is a unique lab for the future, visitors learn: home to salt-loving plants that thrive at the ecotone between a notoriously arid desert and the world’s hottest sea. It’s this unique environment that holds clues to help address some of humanity’s biggest challenges, such as food security and climate change.

Salt Water Cities, where land meets the sea.

Photography Credits to Matt Watt

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