Dubai: Pakistan President Dr Arif Alvi officially unveiled the ‘Hidden Treasures’ at the Pakistan Pavilion as hundreds of expats gathered to witness its official opening ceremony at Expo 2020 Dubai on Saturday.
Earlier in the day at the Expo, Dr Alvi met His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at Leaders Pavilion.
President Alvi, who arrived in the UAE on Saturday on a two-day visit, said after opening the Pakistan Pavilion that Expo 2020 Dubai is an “unprecedented opportunity” for the Pakistan government and private sector to reach out to the world.
During his visit to Expo 2020 Dubai, President Alvi was accompanied by his wife Samina Alvi, senior officials, leading Pakistani businessmen in the UAE and diplomats.
Early on Saturday morning, President Alvi was received by UAE’s Minister of Justice Abdullah bin Sultan bin Awad Al Nuaimi and Pakistan Ambassador Afzaal Mahmood, at the Al Maktoum International Airport where he arrived on a special presidential flight. His wife Samina Alvi also accompanied the president. Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood are part of the president’s entourage.
He also addressed business community at an event on ‘Roshan Digital Account and Roshan Apna Ghar’, the initiatives launched by the government to facilitate Pakistani expats overseas. The event was organised by the State Bank of Pakistan in cooperation with a Dubai-based partner. President Alvi’s visit also coincides with the 50 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and the UAE.
President Alvi said: “It [Expo 2020 Dubai] is the perfect venue for us to reach out to the larger global audience to attract foreign investment in different sectors, including renewable energy, mineral resources, real estate, engineering, information technology, agriculture and tourism.”
He added: “It is heartening to see the overwhelming response to Expo 2020 Dubai, with visitors coming to the mega event from all parts of the world. Our active presence in Expo 2020 Dubai also signifies our renewed focus on geo-economics.”
The Expo, called “The world’s greatest show”, opened its doors on October 1. It runs for six months until March 31, 2022, with the participation of around 192 countries.
‘Hidden Treasures’ at the pavilion
Under the theme ‘Hidden Treasure’, the Pakistan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai aims to showcase the soft image of Pakistan and the rich cultural heritage of the country.
The pavilion comprises eight key spaces depicting the country’s history, religious diversity, culture, landscape, and wildlife, among others. One of the pavilions is also dedicated to show Pakistan’s efforts to combat climate change and displays information about the government’s ‘Billion-Tree Tsunami’ project.
The vivid colours of the façade, which provide an eye-catching background for selfies and group photos, are also a reflection of the changing seasons that the country experiences.
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The variety of experiences offered at the pavilion include video, tactile immersions, sonic rhythms and interactive installations. Visitors are taken on a journey through time showcasing Pakistan’s ancient history, ethno-religious diversity, cultural traditions, natural resources, and economic potential
The pavilion also feature a custom-made Pakistani cuisine restaurant called ‘The Dhaaba’ (food court) that will feature the country’s authentic, centuries-old cuisine for global audiences. It will also offer indigenous dishes from each region.
A souvenir shop with art and craft works unique to Pakistan will also be part of the pavilion to allow visitors to take home a bit of Pakistani culture from its array of cultural memorabilia available.