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Mansour Ebrahim Al Mansouri takes a tour of the UAE pavilion at Expo Beijing yesterday along with Dr Rashid Khalfan Al Nuaimi, Dr Ali Obaid Al Daheri, Dawood Al Hajiri and Najib Al Ali. Image Credit: Supplied

Beijing: The UAE officially inaugurated its vast pavilion at Expo Beijing on Monday morning.

The focus of the pavilion is on the legacy of Zayed of transforming deserts into green expanses, promoting bilateral trade between both countries and enhancing people-to-people contacts.

Mansour Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Director General of the National Media Council (NMC), opened the pavilion along with Dr Rashid Khalfan Al Nuaimi, Commissioner-General of the UAE Pavilion at Expo Beijing, Dr Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to China, Dawood Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality and Najib Al Ali, Executive Director of Bureau Expo 2020, and other diplomats and senior officials.

The Expo will run until October 7.

1,850sqm

size of the UAE pavilion at the Expo Beijing

The pavilion is being managed and supervised by NMC. It is spread over an area of 1,850 square metres, 80 per cent of which comprises a garden as it depicts the development of the agricultural sector in the UAE, shedding light on the legacy of Founding Father, the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his efforts towards “greening the desert”.

The display showcases Shaikh Zayed’s agricultural achievements including the Falaj water channels.

NMC drew inspiration for the pavilion’s design from the UAE’s natural environment, palm trees, traditional agriculture, agricultural oases and the many strides made in the sector.

It houses 36 palm trees; 146 other trees of 20 different species; 2,500 plants of 10 different species; and 5,924 vegetables and herbs that will be cultivated throughout the duration of the exhibition.

UAE’s participation is its first at the Expo’s International Horticultural Exhibition.

Speaking to media after opening the pavilion, Al Mansouri said: “NMC is committed to promoting the UAE’s message of tolerance and openness, and to enhancing its positive image. Our participation at Beijing Expo 2019 — International Horticultural Exhibition is an ideal opportunity to introduce the world to the future-centred vision that our wise leadership has embraced since the days of the late Shaikh Zayed, and that has transformed the local agricultural sector into a major economic and developmental activity for the UAE.”

36

palm trees on display at the Expo in Beijing

He said, “The UAE has grown to lead the world in terms of the number of palm trees it has — and in a short period of time; this proves the Emirati people’s ability to overcome the challenges and difficulties of our environment, from water scarcity and soil salinity to the harsh weather conditions.”

By taking part in the Expo, NMC is also looking to give visitors a glimpse into Expo 2020 Dubai, extending an invitation for them to attend the international event in Dubai next year.

The NMC director general thanked Dubai Municipality and Etihad Airways for their support of the UAE Pavilion at Expo 2019 Beijing.

More than 110 countries and international organisations are taking part in the Expo themed “Live Green, Live Better”.

Bilateral Relations

More than 200,000 Chinese reside in the UAE and over a million visited the country last year, the UAE Ambassador to China said.

“Our relations with China go back to over 50 years and trade, commerce and tourism figures are getting enhanced each year.” Dr Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to China, said.

“Our bilateral trade stood at $53 billion for the year 2017 and it has been growing each year,” he said, pointing out that the UAE’s active participation in the silk road project of China is an example of the deep relations.

The pavilion will promote people-to-people contacts, tourism and cultural exchange between both countries, the envoy added.