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Saudi Arabia Pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai
2010. 1 September
(www.booshnews.com) Since the opening of the World Exposition 2010 in Shanghai of China, there have always been tons of people lining up in front of the Saudi Arabia Pavilion. Despite of the summer heat, the longest queue-up time was once estimated to be nine hours. Why are people so crazy about the visit? What is the fascination inside the pavilion?
Simply looking at the outer part of the Saudi Arabia Pavilion, the design is unique and fascinating. The building features a giant hanging boat shaped like a half moon resting on the elevated ground where patios, pools, fountains, and gardens are located. One of the gardens is in Chinese style surrounded by a barrier characterizing the mini Chinese Great Wall. The other one is an Arabic garden lined with rows of date palm trees. The two gardens seem to describe the friendship between China and Saudi Arabia. On the top of the Saudi Arabia Pavilion which is also named as the Moon Boat, date palm trees are planted to form a rooftop garden highlighting the oasis of the desert. Along the upper edge of the Moon Boat, a large belt-shaped TV revolving screen presents various artistic patterns in turns with welcome notices in different languages. The Boat looks great and magnificent. It makes people recall the maritime silk road of the foreign trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries several hundred years ago.
The theme of the Saudi Arabia Pavilion is “vitality for life” which showcases the wisdom of the city development in the harsh environment without rivers but desserts. With the use of the immersion screen technology, the “vitality for life” is presented in a bowl-shaped giant theater in where visitors are standing on a moving conveyor belt to watch the unique movie. In the darkness, audiences are embraced by a huge concave movie-screen far under their feet as well as along their sides. The presentation focuses on the city of energy, the city of oasis, the ancient city with rich cultural heritage, and the city of fast-growing economy. The movie introduces the distinct features of Saudi Arabia including its landscapes, environment, cities, people, lifestyles, culture, and arts. The music of the film is so beautiful that audiences acquire a marvelously spacious feel. Following the movie pathways in the country, visitors experience a virtual voyage of a thousand miles. When the images of the oases or cities are approaching from far to close projections towards the moving conveyor belt, visitors develop a wonderful feeling like staying on a flying saucer. In fact, audiences are static. The vivid motion is brought out by the design of the movie image capturing. That is why visitors have received a warning notice before entering the bowel theater. The warning states, “The film may cause dizziness. For those who suffer from heart disease or hypertension, please consider carefully”.
The Saudi Arabia Pavilion is one of the popular programs in Expo 2010 that you should not miss. The journey is grand and amazing. You may consider visiting my Shanghai Expo blog for the videos.
Phoebe Lo has written research articles for the submissions to the international health care journals for many years. She is now the author of the Shanghai Expo blog http://2010shanghaichina.blogspot.com.