The Indonesia Pavilion: Innovation, Architecture, Islands and Aroma Met at the Expo 2020

The Indonesia Pavilion: Innovation, Architecture, Islands and Aroma Met at the Expo 2020
The Indonesia Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020

What we saw from Indonesia at the Expo 2020 in a nutshell.

No stranger to the global limelight, Indonesia’s pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai made a big impact at this world exhibition. Originally scheduled to take place in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that the Expo has had to take place on new, rescheduled dates. The Expo opened on October 1st, 2021, and closed on March 31st, 2022 — many eyes were on the archipelago nation of Indonesia in terms of what this beautiful country had to offer at the Expo 2020. Promoted as the ‘Home of Diversity’, the Indonesia Pavilion focused on Indonesia’s efforts to transform its future through innovation and diversity.

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Through futuristic, forward-thinking yet traditionally-designed displays, Indonesia’s Expo 2020 pavilion aimed to educate visitors on its latest innovations ‘beyond technology’. Indonesia’s pavilion was located in the main ‘Opportunity’ district of the Expo grounds and spanned an area of 1,860 square meters across 3 floors. Each floor will showcase its own unique story, different from each other and yet, sharing consistent messages of diversity and innovation. These stories were demonstrated through an array of fun and engaging entertainment displays.

The sand-white and brown exterior of the pavilion was made through a mix of cutting-edge steel structures to portray both a modern and traditional aesthetic, one that was visually impressive to viewers passing by.


On the first floor, Indonesia’s pavilion compared and contrasted both the new and the old. Centuries ago, Indonesia was known as the part of the ‘Spice Islands’, because of the unique spices that explorers found there – nutmeg, mace, and cloves were only found on these islands, and this caught the eyes (or rather, noses) of many traders from all around the world in the 16th century. Explorers and traders from Central Asia, the Middle East, and Europe would sail halfway across the world to catch a whiff of these spices for themselves.

As a result, the composition of Indonesia’s people became an interesting blend of culture and diversity. Today, one can still witness the Portuguese, Dutch, and Middle Eastern influences on the country. Boasting a population of roughly 270 million people, Indonesia is home to around 300 ethnic languages and dialects.

Indonesia’s official language, Bahasa, has taken artifacts from all kinds of different languages to make up its own – the Sanskrit, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese and English languages all play a part in making ‘Bahasa’ what it is today.

At Expo 2020, we also learned about Indonesia’s plans for the future at the Indonesia pavilion. The pavilion will showcase presentations and seminars on Indonesia’s rapidly expanding infrastructure, improvement in lifestyle and prosperity of its people, and its focus on developing new science and technologies. Indonesia has also announced that it plans to share both its local wisdom and modern solutions with the rest of the world.

All in all, the aptly titled ‘To Build World Anew’ first floor painted visitors a picture of Indonesia attempting to connect “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”, with a 60% focus on the future.


Excited to learn more about this scenic island nation? On the second floor, visitors will be treated to cutting-edge designs and installations as they learn more about Indonesia’s vision for 2045. Translated as “Indonesia Gold 2045”, Indonesia Emas 2045 is a movement for an improved Indonesia.

Among other things, this includes a goal to have the country united with other nations, free of corruption, dramatically reduced poverty, and to become one of the five world economic giants by 2045. The interactive second floor will also feature a widescreen high-quality cinema, highlighting some of Indonesia’s initiatives, while hoping to encourage investment into the country.

With cinema-like quality and a big surround-sound system, the pavilion’s theatre will hold up to 250 guests as it impresses onlookers with Indonesia’s amazing plans for the future.


Bring your appetite and prepare to be entertained as you enter the third floor of Indonesia’s pavilion at the Expo 2020. With the theme “Night Market”, the third floor will treat attendees with a real-life simulation of an Indonesian night market. Soak in the atmosphere as souvenir stores, stage performances, dancing, and cultural music shows are all part of the fun.

Featuring Indonesia’s iconic traditional market stalls, visitors were spoiled for choice as they chose between Indonesian culinary delights in the third-floor restaurant, which was set up to elicit a market-like setting.

Looking forward to something spicy? Whether you try out the bakso (Indonesian meatballs), nasi goreng (fried rice), or Gado Gado (peanut salad), everything in Indonesia’s culinary catalog is nothing short of fantastic, so you’ll be delighted when you taste any of Indonesia’s mouth-watering treats.


With over 17,500 islands, Indonesia is the largest archipelago on the planet. The most well-known of all its islands, Bali, is the crown jewel in Indonesian tourism. Stretching over an astonishing 54,000 km, Bali has the second longest coastline in the world! Featuring some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and underwater life, Bali is a dream tropical destination for many. It’s also been featured in the famous book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, which was then turned into a Hollywood movie starring Julia Roberts.

But Bali isn’t the only Indonesian paradise island worth mentioning – the country also boasts the Komodo Islands, Raja Ampat Islands, Lombok, Nusa, Belitung Islands, and more. All these islands feature some of the world’s most stunning turquoise water, unique fauna, and friendliest people. The Expo 2020 aims to showcase this “Majestic Land of Diversity”, by showcasing the island way of life through art exhibitions, traditional craftwork, music shows, and dance performances.

As one of Expo 2020’s most elaborate and decorated pavilions, the Indonesia Pavilion intertwined themes of Indonesia’s celebrated past, current state, and bright future ahead. Featuring a striking steel design and spanning across three floors, visitors enjoyed this culinary and aesthetic treat, as they read, learned, ate, and danced their way through Indonesia’s pavilion experience.