Finnish Lumi Pavilion got awarded in Dubai - Haaga-Helia's student guides also received praise

The Dubai Expo 2020, hosted by the United Arab Emirates, ended at the end of March, with Haaga-Helia's students, who served more than a million visitors, returning back to their Finnish home soil.

Business Finland - Lumi Dubai Expo 2020 - opiskelija, joka pitää kädessään innovatiivisesti keitettyä kahvia
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The Dubai Expo 2020 world exhibition hosted by the United Arab Emirates ended at the end of March, and at the same time the students of Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, who served as guides in the Finnish Lumi Pavilion, returned to their home soil.

According to staff representatives who visited Dubai, Haaga-Helia received a lot of encouraging feedback about the world show. Especially the interest of local families, entrepreneurs, and other business people in Finnish education exceeded the expectations.

Haaga-Helia's specialist from LAB8, Pasi Tuominen, says that he received many cooperation inquiries, especially after the three Education Finland seminars held during the Expo. The seminars, organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, were an important part of the program. 

— I was one of the speakers at the seminar, which certainly must have attracted some attention and interest in Haaga-Helia. My theme was the problem of matching education and the labor market, as well as our holograms and analysis of it, he says.

Tuominen thinks that the Finland Day theme day held at the World's Fair also hit the spot. The day offered numerous new contacts and opportunities for both domestic and international actors for Haaga-Helia

Haaga-Helia's professional and energetic student guides also reaped some praises from the visitors. In total, they served more than a million Expo visitors and provided them with all the information they could ever need. 

Students also garnered praise for their genuine interest in local culture.

Many got impressed by Finnish architecture

The Finnish pavilion was awarded the second-best in the World Exhibition in the category of less than 1,750 m2. The first prize went to Singapore and the third to Qatar. The theme of the Finnish pavilion was “Sharing Future Happiness”.

The simple and minimalist design of the pavilion, designed by Teemu Kurkela and Gregor Turnsek from JKKM, told a beautiful story about Finnish architecture and the unique tradition of Finnish design.

According to Severi Keinälä, Chief Commissioner of Business Finland, who was responsible for the Finnish exhibition, the exhibition was built around the key pillars of the participating companies' know-how and Finnish happiness.

In addition, it combines architecture where two different cultures meet in harmony. Keinälä says that the appearance of the pavilion describes the nature of Finland, highlighting all the elements that are essential to it, such as snow, granite, forest, and water.

— However, the shape and entrance of it, on the other hand, resemble a traditional Arabic tent. The tent is like a public space that invites guests to interact and meet face to face, he describes in a press release.

The pavilion's unique concept, which utilizes artificial intelligence and combines interactivity, also received excellent feedback. The pavilion was said to convey a very authentic image not only of Finland but also of Finnish lifestyles and culture.

Benefits were significant

A total of 192 countries participated in the Dubai Expo 2020. It was held for the first time in the Middle East, with more than 23 million visits in six months. The Finnish pavilion hosted almost 80 corporate events and was visited by more than a million visitors. The Finnish department had a total of 120 Finnish companies.

According to Business Finland, the benefits for Finnish companies were significant. For many industries, such as education exports and the technology industry, the Gulf countries are a growing market with a strong focus on skills development.

The largest partners in the Finnish pavilion were KONE, Wärtsilä, Fiskars Group, Nokia, Konecranes, Metso Outotec, Fortum, Haaga-Helia, Genelec, Smart Nuclear Energy Solutions, Education Finland, and Neles.

The award-winning Snow Pavilion is supposed to stay in place for at least five years. The goal is to make the pavilion a Finnish meeting place that will make it easier for domestic companies to catch up with the fast-growing markets in the Middle East.