Dubai: For the first time, Pakistan has unveiled details of its unique pavilion being built at a cost of $28.72 million (Dh565.49 million) at the Expo 2020 Dubai site.
More than 76 per cent of the construction work for the pavilion named ‘Pakistan — Hidden Treasures’ has been completed this month and it is expected to be handed over for internal work to Pakistani management in a couple of months.
Speaking to Gulf News in Dubai, Rizwan Tariq, director-general of Trading Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) — the authority supervising Pakistan’s participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai — said the pavilion’s main function is to educate visitors about Pakistan by showcasing things that most of them do not know. “We will promote unique and vibrant cultures, a 7,000-year-old civilisation, art and craft, religious harmony, natural wonders, economic potential and dynamism of the people,” he added.
The 2,900-sqm pavilion located in the Opportunity District of the Expo 2020 Dubai site has been designed with modularity and flexibility in mind, which will allow it to be part of Expo 2020 Dubai’s legacy initiative, through which it can potentially be transformed into a Pakistan Culture and Heritage Centre, contributing towards education and innovation.
“It will be a total digital experience as the visitors will be able to pass through various sections of the pavilion to learn about the best of Pakistan,” said Tariq. He also made a presentation about the Pakistani pavilion to a select group of prominent Pakistani businessmen in Dubai at the event site, which was organised by the Pakistan Business Council and Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai. The event was arranged for the visiting delegation led by Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister for Textile, Investment and Industry. They came to Dubai to visit the pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai site and to meet top officials.
It will be a total digital experience as the visitors will be able to pass through various sections of the pavilion to learn about the best of Pakistan.
Expo 2020 Dubai will now be held from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, as the event had to be postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Moazzam Ahmed Khan, former ambassador of Pakistan to UAE, who is currently posted as Pakistan’s High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, was also part of the delegation because he had officially signed the agreement for Pakistan to take part in Expo 2020 Dubai.
Call for contribution
The Government of Pakistan has approached overseas Pakistanis, seeking funding for the Expo project. Speaking at the event, Dawood said the cost of building the pavilion has surged to $28.72 million and it may increase further. “We have a shortfall of $10 million and are now asking our business community within the country and abroad to fund the project,” he said, urging Pakistani businessmen in the UAE to come forward and help in completing the project for the sake of their country.
“Building of the Pakistani pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is a daunting task for us, as we want to bring the best of Pakistan to Dubai at this unique pavilion,” Dawood said, adding that businessmen who offer funds for the project would be given incentives. They will be able to use the pavilion for their businesses, their company names will be written on plaques inside the pavilion and they will also receive medallions, either from the Pakistan president or prime minister.
Pakistan Consul General Ahmed Amjad Ali also briefed the audience about the progress on the pavilion work. He said the consulate would provide all possible assistance to businessmen who want to participate in the project. Iqbal Dawood, president of Pakistan Business Council, and Ahmed Sheikhani, senior vice-president, have pledged to provide all possible support to the Pakistani pavilion.