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Interior shot of Terra sustainability pavilion

Terra, the Sustainability Pavilion, Expo 2020, Dubai

Eden co-led the landscape design and visitor experience for Terra, the Sustainability Pavilion, which was the regenerative centrepiece of Expo 2020 Dubai and is now a permanent attraction in Expo City Dubai, the pioneering legacy of the Expo.

Terra was the first Eden Project-designed experience to open outside Cornwall and took the Eden Mission to more than 24 million visitors who visited Expo during its 182-day duration.


Map of UAE with Dubai marked with a pin

Terra is now a central part of Expo City Dubai, a clean, green, tech-enabled, human-centric city of the future which carries forward the pioneering legacy of Expo 2020 Dubai. Terra remains open to the public every day.

Terra is a demonstration of ground-breaking technology and innovative landscaping, providing an extraordinary adventure that explores our individual and collective responsibilities as citizens on a changing planet. 

Visitors to the breathtaking pavilion are taken on a journey telling the enchanting story of humankind’s relationship with nature and our impact on it. The experience is designed to empower visitors to understand the effects of their actions and become agents of change.

Its grounds feature a variety of sustainable innovations, including inventive irrigation techniques, a greywater recycling system, local plants to reduce water use by 75 per cent, "energy trees" equipped with solar panels that rotate like a sunflower to face the sun and a water tree that will produce water from the surrounding air.

Virtual tour of Terra

Explore Sustainability at Expo 2020

The experience

The experience

Like all Eden Projects, Terra takes visitors on a journey which will bring them closer to the natural world. They embark on a journey under a forest, exploring the fascinating "wood-wide web", an intricate collaboration and communication network between plants and fungi.

Visitors can dive into the depths of the world's oceans, experiencing the mysterious sounds and eerie bioluminescent glows of the creatures that live there.

They are also shown the effects of human activity on the rest of the natural world, from the changing ecology of the Arabian peninsula in Terra's wadi, or dry riverbed, to the "sea of consumption", a dramatisation of the effect human activity has had on the world's oceans. The centrepiece here is a giant angler fish, its mouth choked with plastic pollution and TVs showing advertising on a loop.

Visitors are asked questions about the choices they make, the "What Would You Save?" exhibit asking what valued possessions would be retrieved from a burning or flooding house and the "Archive of Three Things" showing the choices of people from around the world.

The exhibit highlights the importance of family, community and memory over consumer goods, giving rise to the question of why we damage the environment with our consumption.


  1. 4,912

    The number of solar panels on the canopy of Terra, the Sustainability Pavilion.
  2. 5.5 megawatts

    The renewable energy generated by permanent buildings on the Dubai Expo 2020 site.
  3. 95%

    ...of the landscaped areas of the Dubai Expo 2020 site are managed without chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertiliser.
  4. 85%

    ...of waste created during construction, operation and decommissioning will be diverted from landfill.

Dubai Expo 2020

Dubai Expo 2020

Expo 2020 Dubai was the first Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and the latest in a 170 year history of World Expos, which began with The Great Exhibition in London in 1851. Expos bring countries together to celebrate national achievement and provide a platform for innovation and global cooperation.

Expo 2020 Dubai boasted more than 190 country pavilions alongside special Expo-owned pavilions which acted as centrepeices for each district of the Expo - Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity.

Expos have left a lasting mark on their host nations and cities, with the Eiffel Tower in Paris being built for 1889's Exposition Universelle and since becoming a defining landmark of the city.

Other iconic Expo buildings include the Space Needle in Seattle, built for the 1962 Century 21 Exposition, and the world's first Ferris wheel was built for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Photo at top of page by Thinc Design

Sir Tim Smit KBE

Sir Tim Smit KBE

“ Eden is immensely proud to have been offered the opportunity to create marvellous things inside Terra with the genius designer Tom Hennes of Thinc Design. We knew it would have to be brave and startling to capture the imagination of people from all over the world coming to be inspired and entertained. ”

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