|The design for Saudi Arabia's pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai|
By Yi Whan-woo
Saudi Arabia has unveiled the design of its pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai, according to the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Korea.
The embassy said the 13,069-squre-meter pavilion, which will be used to promote the country, would be the second-largest after the United Arab Emirates.
Boris Micka Associates, a Spanish firm known for its expertise in museum and exhibition design, designed the pavilion.
"The distinctive and memorable structure symbolizes the kingdom's welcoming character, heritage and unlimited drive," the embassy said, adding that the facade opens like "a large window into the future" and reflects Saudi Arabian society "deeply rooted in its culture with unlimited ambition."
Saudi Arabia also expects the pavilion to attract visitors to learn about the country's efforts to transform from an energy-based economy to an innovation-based one.
For instance, a path inside the pavilion will highlight Saudi Arabia's openness to business and tourism, and its goal of forging links and collaborating with other countries to create a better future.
"This extraordinary and innovative design perfectly captures the determination of the kingdom to fulfill its promise of being an ambitious nation while conveying a message of dynamism and partnership to the world," said Saudi Arabia's Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, who is co-chairman of the Supervisory Committee for the country's s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai.
Calling the pavilion "ground-breaking," Al-Tuwaijri added that all Saudis would be proud of the vision it would deliver to the world and that Saudi Arabia looked forward to inviting global citizens "to share in the exciting story of our thriving and vibrant society."
Reem Al Hashimy, the UAE minister of state for international cooperation and director general of the Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, speculated that Saudi Arabia's pavilion would offer visitors a chance to experience the country's rich heritage and culture, while demonstrating how the region was working together to create a better future.
"We look forward to welcoming our brothers and sisters from the kingdom as they join us for the first-ever World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region," he said.
More than 190 nations have confirmed they will participate in the expo. Organizers hope to attract 25 million visitors between Oct. 20, 2020 and April 10, 2021, with 70 percent coming from outside the UAE.
If this happens, it will be highest proportion of international visitors in the 168-year history of such expos.