Dubai: The Republic of Korea celebrated its Expo 2020 Dubai National Day on Sunday with a visit by the country’s President and First Lady.
The busy agenda consisted of a spectacular 20-minute show including traditional dance, drums and the martial art of taekwondo, and a stunning concert from global K-Pop stars later in the evening.
Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, and First Lady Kim Jung-sook were welcomed by Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai.
Sheikh Nahyan said: “We are honoured to have the President of the Republic of Korea with us today to mark his nation’s Expo 2020 National Day. Throughout this global event and beyond, we aim to develop our partnerships to new heights, for the mutual benefit and prosperity of our people.
“The Republic of Korea’s pavilion is an exceptional one, in terms of its modern architecture and interactive content, highlighting the impact of virtual mobility on our modern world. It also demonstrates how these advancements are achieved through its key resources, including the great minds and skills of its truly dedicated people.”
President Moon Jae-in said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is turning into reality the hope for a sustainable future. The UAE’s endeavours that put into practice environmental integrity and sustainability will deeply inspire the world as it is poised to usher in a post-pandemic era. The first ever Expo in the Middle East has been transformed into a festival, forward-looking into the future by the leaders and the people of the UAE.
Korea’s bid for Expo
“As a developing nation, Korea set foot into a World Expo for the first time in 1962, working diligently to catch up with the world in science and technology. Six decades later, today, we have taken off as a developed country. Information and technology has served Korea as one of the growth engines that has propelled its rise as the world’s 10th largest economy. Expo 2020 Dubai is a source of great inspiration for us, and we are hoping to host an Expo in Busan, Korea in 2030, and our theme of ‘Transforming our world, navigating towards a better future’ is aligned with the goals pursued by Expo 2020 Dubai. People of the world, through Expo 2020 Dubai, have been connecting their minds, and I hope we will connect again in Korea in 2030.”
PSY, Stray Kids perform
The day’s celebrations featured spectacular Korean cultural shows that showcased the Republic of Korea’s traditions, energy, unity and modernity, including the traditional ‘Jang-Gu’ Korean music drum accompanied by an elegant folk ballet performance by the Little Angels, a dynamic taekwondo synchronised acrobatic fight demonstration by K Tigers, and a selection of K-Pop modern hits.
The finale of the cultural show saw all the performers come together on Al Wasl stage: traditional and modern culture united under one flag.
Later on Sunday, Jubilee Stage hosted a two-and-a-half-hour special K-Pop concert featuring six of the country’s leading artists — PSY, Stray Kids, Sunmi, (G) I-dle, Golden Child and Forestella.
The Dubai Exhibition Centre also saw the start of the three-day Korea Innovation Fair 2022, showcasing the best of Korean culture, beauty, food and innovative technology.
The Korea Pavilion sees the virtual and the real blend in harmony, showing a future filled with infinite potential. Korean characteristics presented through the pavilion’s design include solidarity, dynamic thinking, a commitment to innovation, and flexibility in the face of change. These traits are reflected in the pavilion’s façade, which constantly changes throughout the day.
National and Honour Days at Expo 2020 Dubai are moments to celebrate each of the 200-plus International Participants, shining a light on their culture and achievements, and showcasing their pavilions and programming.
Running until March 31, Expo 2020 Dubai has invited visitors from across the planet to join the making of a new world in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.