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Glittering UAE Pavilion Reflects Well on UAE

2010. 26 April

( ‘The Dunes’, otherwise known as the Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates at World Expo 2010 Shanghai, has attracted strong attention during the pre-show opening period at Expo 2010 even though it will not open its doors to the public until the official launch on May 1st.

This architecturally unique building, inspired by the sand dunes of the UAE desert, and designed by world renowned Foster + Partners, has captured the imaginations of Chinese visitors who have been clicking shutters
and exploring the perimeter in the hope of finding a way in! Were they to enter through the golden pavilion’s locked doors they would find a hive of activity as construction teams finish up their work and rub shoulders with media specialists from at least a dozen countries. Not only has the UAE created a unique building that glitters in Shanghai’s sunshine but the visitor experience within is highly creative, technically challenging and huge in scale. But according to the UAE Pavilion’s organizers it is not about size, technology or cost, but about how to tell a great story.

And what an amazing story they have to tell! It begins in the queue-line where visitors will enjoy a dramatic and revealing ‘birds eye’ view of the UAE, as well as learning about some of the UAE Pavilion’s Partners activities, from the renewable energy company Masdar, to one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, Emirates Airline. Prior to entering the pavilion itself there is a special treat in the form of a personal greeting, spoken in Chinese, by a young Emirati girl. Once inside the four-part experience, each lasting about six minutes, brings the story of the UAE right up to the present.

‘In the Blink of an Eye’ is a dramatic presentation of the last five or six decades, during which the UAE has transformed from one of the poorest and least developed countries on our planet to one of the most advanced with rapidly rising living standards. Next is ‘Creative Energy’, a closeup and personal look at different Emiratis and how they live. Then comes the ‘Dream Journey’ in which a young Emirati boy leads a young Chinese girl on a magical exploration of the Emirates.

The latter is presented on huge moving screens and on a theatrical stage. Before visitors leave the UAE Pavilion they pass through an area that has been named ‘Lasting Impressions’ where printed information is available together with an Expo passport counter and a ‘Dream Journey’ prize draw drum. Once outside they can enjoy a ‘Cultural Oasis’ and learn about Emirati dance, song and other traditions. The UAE Pavilion is also running a very popular prize draw in which over a hundred people will win one-week holidays to the UAE, sponsored by Emirates Airline, Anantara, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing; Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, EMAAR and Rotana.

Applicants may enter via the website or at the Pavilion itself. The prize draw is the only one of its kind at EXPO 2010 that is being promoted on the home page of the official online website for EXPO: Online contestants must first answer ten questions about the UAE and then complete their details before printing out their ‘Dream Ticket’. They can do this at or on the Chinese site at . When the doors to the UAE pavilion open to the public, on 01 May 2010, so will the country’s ‘virtual pavilion’ go ‘live’ at the Expo Online website From that point on, and for the next six months, the UAE will be proudly telling its own unique story to the World. It is a story that, like the pavilion itself, reflects well on this fast moving Arabian country and on its innovative and energetic people. WAM/SS