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  • Life after EXPO: what legacy left for Kazakhstan?

Life after EXPO: what legacy left for Kazakhstan?

27 July, 2021 15:17
The year of 2017 has been a milestone for Kazakhstan that hosted EXPO 2017 under the theme Future Energy. Four years after the exhibition, it is a good chance to go back and see what is the legacy left behind the major international exhibition?


It was not a coincidence that Kazakhstan chose to host the exhibition under the future energy theme, as a sign to the world that the country seeks a renewable energy future. The efforts are still ongoing to bring the share of renewable energy in the energy balance by 50 percent by 2050. 

The event had approximately 115 participating countries and 22 international organizations. Four million people visited the exhibition over its entire period. 


“The event was over, the goals were achieved, the national brand was promoted, but this was not the final point for the exhibition facilities. It did not become empty but started a new life,” said QazExpoCongress national company chair Allen Chaizhunussov in an interview for this story. 

The area turned into a futuristic district with high buildings surrounding the big 5,000-square-metre Nur Alem Sphere that currently hosts the Nur Alem Museum on future energy. 

The museum has eight floors with each devoted to a particular topic in energy. The first floor offers an opportunity to get acquainted with Kazakhstan, displaying the country’s vast landscapes, culture, history, as well as energy projects of local scientists.

The second floor is about water energy. It includes an installation of a dam that shows how the energy is generated through the water.

The third floor shows kinetic energy and an archive of images and historical artifacts about kinetic energy. 

The fourth floor is about biomass energy that has an area with a green panorama and varieties of grains that serve as sources of biomass. It also hosts a modern multi-format lecture hall equipped with everything that is needed to hold seminars, presentations, lectures, open classes, and other events for up to 75 people.

Wind energy is demonstrated on the fifth floor, solar energy on the sixth floor, and space energy on the seventh floor. 

“The EXPO complex has become not just the epicenter of science, IT, and finance development, but also the entertainment industry. An important scientific and cultural heritage was the Nur Alem Museum of Future Energy and now it is a symbol of the business center and a place that attracts tourists, as well as the hallmark of Nur-Sultan. Tens of thousands of Kazakh schoolchildren and students have learned a lot while visiting the museum thanks to special educational programs such as Kids&Student Future Energy,” he said. 

But the visit to the museum starts from the eighth floor, where visitors can learn about the Future Nur-Sultan. The model describes the city's ambitions for sustainable development and eco-efficiency.

An exhibition named “Life of Things” and featuring the works of a group of artists opened in the museum on July 9 and will last through August 20. Valeriy Kazas, an artist from Krasnodar in Russia, also presented his installations in the expo area. 

The area includes Congress Centre, Astana International Financial Centre, Astana IT University, Astana Hub, an international technopark of IT startups, and the International Centre of Green Technologies and Investments.

As then-President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev said at the expo’s closing ceremony in September 2017, the facilities and infrastructure will be preserved as “expo heritage” paving a way for new large-scale projects. The expo area, indeed, reflects the country’s ambitions hosting the AIFC that seeks to become the regional financial hub, and the Astana Hub aimed at creating an ecosystem of innovations in Kazakhstan and giving opportunities to thousands of young entrepreneurs to test their ideas. 

The expo area reflects the country’s ambitions hosting the AIFC that seeks to become the regional financial hub, and the Astana Hub aimed at creating an ecosystem of innovations in Kazakhstan and giving opportunities to thousands of young entrepreneurs to test their ideas. 

Kazakhstan’s participation in Dubai Expo 2020

Kazakhstan will be taking part in the Dubai Expo 2020 that will open its doors on October 1 and last through March 31, 2022. 

Kazakhstan’s pavilion, located in the Opportunity District, will “demonstrate the country’s dynamic development, cultural diversity, rich human and natural resources, and its tourist, technological and investment opportunities.”

“Thanks to the EXPO-2017 International Specialized Exhibition, Kazakhstan gained valuable experience, which will be useful for the country in the upcoming EXPO-2020 in Dubai. Kazakhstan is actively preparing to participate in the event, which will be held under the motto ‘Connecting minds, creating the future.’ Our country will present its rich history and culture, as well as its tourist potential, technological and investment opportunities, and introduce visitors to the unique natural landscapes of Kazakhstan,” said Chaizhunussov.

The national pavilion occupies an area of 3,400 square meters and consists of three floors and four exhibition zones. The design of the pavilion is inspired by traditional oriental architecture and represents a synthesis of modern digital solutions and traditions, as well as symbolizes the openness of Kazakhstan, according to Chaizhunussov.

Currently, all construction and installation works, including the exhibition equipment, are completed. 

And while the pandemic has disrupted the hosting of the exhibition last year, in October all eyes will certainly be on the upcoming opening of much-awaited exhibition.