Saudi Arabia inaugurated its state-of-the-art pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on Friday, kicking off a six-month World Expo experience that will take visitors from across the world on a journey through the Kingdom’s rich past, vibrant present, and promising future.
The idea of “seeing is believing” is at the heart of the experiences the Saudi Pavilion offers visitors. The journey showcases a future-forward Saudi Arabia: welcoming, young, diverse, and vibrant. The Pavilion represents the Saudi people, ambitious and talented individuals across different sectors, powering the Kingdom’s transformation under Vision 2030. Across business opportunity and tourism, culture and nature, Saudi Arabia has much to offer throughout its 13 unique regions – including five UNESCO World Heritage Sites – and the Pavilion enables visitors to get a first glimpse of a fascinating destination that has yet to be discovered.
The Pavilion’s inauguration was attended by the H.E. Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Committee for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai; Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Turki Aldakhil; Hussain Hanbazazah, the Commissioner-General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Pavilion; and GCC countries’ ambassadors, and officials and cultural figures from around the world.
Traditional Saudi Ardah dancers, wielding ceremonial swords, delivered a dazzling and energetic performance to the beat of folkloric drums and spoken poetry.
Commenting on the official opening, H.E. Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Committee for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Pavilion, said: “The pavilion reflects the Kingdom’s growth and prosperity during the reign of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Our country is at this global forum with its young, renewed spirit and aspiration towards a prosperous future for the region and the world. Our Pavilion showcases the many ambitious projects under Saudi Vision 2030, formulated by His Highness, the Crown Prince, may God protect him, and embodies our journey to new horizons of development.”
Hussain Hanbazazah, the Commissioner-General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Pavilion, said: “Saudi Arabia’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai stems from the Kingdom’s cultural values, and its capabilities and ambitions. The Pavilion invites visitors to experience the transformation underway in the Kingdom under Vision 2030 – powered by our welcoming, diverse people and the energy and optimism of the next generation. The journey also enables the business community to identify, seize and create opportunities in the Kingdom, contributing to economic diversification and national development.
“The pavilion offers rich and varied content, activities and programs covering the economy, development and culture, targeting all segments from children and families to businessmen and investors. All visitors will see Saudi Arabia as it really is: an exciting fusion of old and new – an ancient and evolving tourist destination for adventurers, explorers, and luxury travelers and a destination unlike any other. Our Pavilion is a bridge that will connect the people of Saudi Arabia to the world and will help deepen regional and global ties.”
The delegation was briefed on Saudi Arabia’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, anchored by four key pillars: People, Opportunity, Heritage, and Nature. The delegation also had the chance to see how the state-of-the-art building fuses architecture with digital technology, expressing their admiration for its unique design which symbolizes the Kingdom’s limitless ambition. The pavilion’s content was designed under the supervision of an official national committee headed by H.H. Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, the Saudi Minister of Culture.
The dignitaries were among the first to experience the Pavilion’s 14 cultural landmarks along a stunning escalator ride, including acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as At-Turaif District in Ad-Diriyah, Hegra Archaeological Site in AlUla, and Historic Jeddah. The briefing featured an introduction to the audiovisual guide, through which guests can explore 23 destinations such as world-leading giga-projects that are rewriting the possibilities of sustainable development. The visit concluded with a peek of a trail through Saudi Arabia’s stunning nature.
The Saudi pavilion, the second largest after the UAE’s, is one of the most sustainable structures at Expo 2020 Dubai. It has been awarded LEED version 4 Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the highest internationally recognized sustainability rating in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The Pavilion has earned three Guinness World Records for the largest interactive lighting floor, the longest interactive water feature, and the largest LED interactive digital mirror screen.