Following his election as President of COP18/CMP8 on the first day of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2012, His Excellency Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah invited participants and VIPs to a welcome reception to mark the opening of the Qatar Sustainability Expo.
H.E. Al-Attiyah, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of COP18/CMP8, was joined by Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, at the Doha Exhibition Centre for the ribbon cutting ceremony at 7pm on November 26.
Afterwards the President and Ms. Figueres took a short tour of the Expo, which offers an imaginative showcase of the range of sustainable initiatives being undertaken by Qatari government departments as well as local and international organisations.
The doors were then opened to VIPs, participants and media representatives to experience the many activities and attractions available on the exhibition floor.
Entertainment was provided by traditional Qatar folklore dancers outside Doha Exhibition Centre, while on the concourse the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, who will perform daily throughout the Expo, played a mixture of Western and Arabic music.
Guests were also treated to refreshments including Arabic sweets.
The Qatar Sustainability Expo, which has been organised by International Fairs and Promotions and overseen by the Ministry of the Environment will be open from the public from November 27 to December 7.
It will be free to the public and feature a range of activities for all ages, designed to stimulate sustainable thinking and highlight eco-friendly initiatives in Qatar.
One of the most eye-catching exhibits, and the centerpiece to the Expo, is a high-tech Augmented Reality system that conjures up images of the “unseen animals of Qatar” on the exhibition floor. Children and adults alike will be enthralled by a close encounter with the Arabian oryx, falcon and sand cat.
Younger visitors can enjoy dozens of exciting activities to encourage them to learn about the importance of protecting the planet; from environmental science workshops and solar powered experiments to a fully-fledged planetarium.
For adults, the Expo features a compelling line-up of workshops and lectures by the Qatar Steel, the Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative, Yale University and Conservation International, Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, and many others.
Concept cars that deliver stunning performance using alternative fuels will also be on display.
An outdoor food court will be open in the evening featuring four tents, one of which will serve free traditional Qatari food, to provide an area for visitors to eat and relax.
QSE is open from 11am to 9pm every day. Official shuttle buses are available to participants from their hotels to the DEC and the COP18/COP8 Conference at the Qatar National Convention Centre.