Ghaf tree.. Promotes sustainability and spreads the spirit of tolerance at Expo 2020 Dubai


 The Ghaf tree is one of the original trees that are abundant in the desert of the Emirates and is linked to the heritage and history of the region for its benefits in the lives of ancestors in the past. It also represents a great cultural value in the country due to its association with the identity and heritage of the Emirates.

The Ghaf tree is characterized by its tolerance of desert heat, drought and lack of rain. It is a strong tree whose roots extend up to 50 meters underground and its length reaches 28 meters. 

In 2019, the Ghaf tree was chosen to be a symbol of tolerance in the Year of Tolerance in the country, and the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul, paid great attention to the desert environment, especially the Ghaf tree, where he issued decisions and instructions not to cut it and preserve it. 

 At Expo 2020 Dubai, Al Ghafa, as it is called locally, had a prominent presence at the opening ceremony of the event, so it came to the audience to send a message to the world emphasizing the principle of tolerance pursued by the UAE as a symbol of it and expressing the depth of its roots, strength of steadfastness and its connection with the environment of the Emirates. 

Expo 2020 Dubai has set a number of main focus areas and a set of key performance indicators that revolve around achieving sustainability, including enhancing the environmental value of the site and promoting local plant species, where millions of plants have been produced in agricultural nurseries, more than 14,000 trees, 2,500 palm trees and 3 5 million shrubs and more than 460 ghaf trees.

On the Expo 2020 grounds, Ghaf trees are spread throughout the exhibition and line both sides of Ghaf Street, which passes over a number of pavilions participating in the event. These trees tell another story about sustainability and spread the spirit of tolerance on the participating pavilions.

As for the sustainability pavilion, Ghaf had another presence.. Mona Al Ali, Senior Director of the Sustainability Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, said – in an exclusive statement to the Emirates News Agency “WAM” – that the Ghaf tree is well known and was chosen in the pavilion to give visitors an opportunity to see its roots from Through a Periscope, it reveals its roots that go deep into the soil in search of water and nutrients, which shows how our plants that live in this region are able to withstand the desert environment, pointing out that to adapt to the scarcity of water in the desert, each species of plants has developed its own method to deal with Water scarcity. Let’s take Ghaf trees as an example. They derive their need from fresh water by extending their roots and pushing them into the ground to depths of tens of meters. 

Keywords: ghaf tree, heritage, emirati, trees, lives, benefits, tolerance, roots, tree, association, expo 2020 dubai, spirit, desert environment, desert, sustainability