Dubai: Showcasing Saudi Arabian culture and what the country has in store for the future is the focus of the stunningly-lit and massive Saudi Arabia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, which opened its doors to visitors on October 1.
Easily spotted from afar because of its green lights beaming across the structure, the pavilion is located in the Opportunity District.
Opportunities for all
Hussain Hanbazazah, the Commissioner-General of Saudi Arabia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “The pavilion represents Vision 2030, which is an opportunity to join for all.”
As described on its official website, Vision 2030 “is a unique transformative economic and social reform blueprint that is opening Saudi Arabia up to the world”. “The reflection of the Opportunity District is seen across the sectors of the pavilion,” said Hanbazazah.
Discover Saudi Arabia through four pillars
While various themes and projects are highlighted at the pavilion, according to Hanbazazah, all of the visitor experiences revolve around four pillars — people, land, heritage and opportunity. The exteriors and the facade of the pavilion, as well as the interiors, share a similar theme focusing on these four pillars.
“We want people to discover Saudi Arabia, to feel its story and join the journey,” he said.
Visitor journey and events
Designed by United Kingdom-based Boris Micka Associates, the pavilion spans an impressive 13,069 square metres, which is the size of two football pitches, and is the second largest pavilion in size at the Expo 2020 Dubai site.
The interactive journey through the pavilion begins with an escalator ride via a tunnel, which showcases the various historical sites Saudi Arabia has. It also highlights the heritage sites listed in the country by Unesco.
“This is our heritage, it is important to showcase it and preserve it,” Hanbazazah said.
Next, a large room with curved screens, to give visitors an immersive experience, showcases the various tourism spots in the country. These include beaches, desert landscapes and more. “These projections also introduce people to the giga-projects,” Hanbazazah said.
One of the features at the pavilion is ‘The Vision’, which Hanbazazah describes as an artwork. The impressive experience, which includes digital screens and an interactive floor, is designed by Saudi artists.
Culture at the forefront
“The Saudi Arabia Pavilion is a window for everyone to explore the culture ... The colourful logo, for example, represents the different cultures we have in the 13 regions,” he added.
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Saudi Arabia’s cultural treasures will also be highlighted throughout the Expo 2020 season by the various events organised by the pavilion. These include traditional dance performances, family shows, comedy shows and literature-focused events. “I especially invite everyone to the variety show that will take place on weekends. This will showcase both Saudi and international talent,” Hanbazazah said.
Speaking about the presence of Saudi Arabia at ‘The World’s Greatest Show’, Hanbazazah said: “We are proud of the fact that my colleagues and I are sharing the story of our country, our future and our past at this Expo 2020 Dubai. It is a privilege by itself and I want everyone to be a part of this story.”