Through the Sand Dunes of the Desert on the Trail of a Proud Population that Appreciates the Value of Water


The charm of a mysterious desert that captivated visitors, revealing its treasures to them. This was the spell cast by Kuwait, a small Middle Eastern State that successfully meets the challenges intrinsic to an environment so apparently barren, told in a majestic Pavilion located on the Decumanus between Germany and the United States.
At the entrance, almost like an implicit thanksgiving to water, there were two light-blue fountains decorated with mosaics like those commonly found in the streets of the country, whereas the structure of the Pavilion itself recalled the traditional Kuwaiti boats known as Dhow. A cool waterfall that flowed from above welcomes the visitors who hurried to cross the threshold, this feature was also designed to honor water, the symbol of life which is so precious and most of all rare, at least in some areas of the Planet.

In the desert, where greenhouses live alongside oil wells
The visit to the Kuwait Pavilion was conceived as a journey designed to teach people about life in the desert and how the Kuwaitis had managed to make their land into a hospitable location rich in resources. The desert transformed itself before the visitors’ eyes as they learned what Kuwait was like, walking through the rooms that project striking images in time-lapse on all four walls, giving them an opportunity to immerse themselves in a fascinating, albeit brief, virtual journey through the desert.
At the end of the second room, the visitors entered an immense bright area where a large model had been created. This reproduced the typical Kuwaiti environment, built by man and composed of urban settlements, oil wells, refineries and fish farms. All against the backdrop of the sea. In the glass walls, a vertical garden made with hundreds of hydroponic plants represented the Middle Eastern country’s commitment to the development of agriculture. On the ceiling there were traditional rugs with black, white and red geometric patterns that made the atmosphere feel warm and welcoming.

Strolling through the suk, among censers and scents
Continuing further on, visitors entered the suk, the typical market of Arab countries where the goods commonly found in Kuwait are on display: censers, teapots, scents, musical instruments, the game of checkers – very popular among the fishermen – and elegant gold jewelry. In the coffee room they could sip a fragrant mint tea accompanied by delicious honey cakes. On the screens hung on the walls, among the couches, a series of Kuwaiti citizens told their life stories in Italian, English and Arabic. In the restaurant they could try a true national specialty: machbus, a sort of rich, tasty couscous made with rice.



Discover the Kuwait Pavilion in the Expo Milano 2015 archive