Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, today visited the pavilions of Maldives, Egypt, Palestine, Switzerland and Emirates Airline at Expo 2020 Dubai. He was accompanied by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee; Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; and Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashemy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Speaking during the tour, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said Expo 2020 Dubai brings together 192 nations with diverse cultures, aspirations and innovations, making the mega global event a unique platform for discovering new engagement, development, investment and partnership opportunities. Furthermore, the event creates the perfect environment for building bridges of understanding, connecting with different cultures and discovering new opportunities for economic transformation and growth, he said.

At the Maldives Pavilion, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum met with Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of Maldives, and explored ways to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries in a range of fields. The meeting also discussed Maldives’ participation in Expo 2020, and the opportunities the event offers to promote bilateral relations in diverse spheres.

At the Maldivian Pavilion, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was introduced to the curated visual journey that informs visitors about the nation’s history, culture, ecology, cuisine and arts. The Pavilion showcases Maldives’ unique natural environment and its people who are intrinsically linked with the sea, sharing the country’s development story with the world. Promoting the country’s ‘environment first’ philosophy, the Pavilion shares Expo’s subtheme, Sustainability, and charts the nation’s historical and ongoing initiatives to achieve a sustainable future by championing climate change awareness and promoting sustainable practices.

His Highness also visited Egypt’s pavilion, which highlights the country’s ancient treasures and modern innovations that live side-by-side: monumental pyramids and soaring skyscrapers, hieroglyphics and high-definition screens. At the Pavilion, visitors can explore the link between past riches and future opportunities, across four floors of innovative attractions. His Highness was briefed about the Pavilion’s 360-degree virtual reality experience, which offers an immersive tour of Egypt’s natural and urban worlds. The Pavilion also features live digital tours of the Grand Egyptian Museum, the future home to an array of prized pharaonic relics.

Sheikh Mohammed also visited the Palestine Pavilion, where he met with Majed Faraj, Special Envoy of the President of the Palestinian Authority. His Highness was briefed about the Pavilion which offers an innovative way to experience this deeply historic land with imaginative exhibits that individually engage each of the body’s five senses. Beginning with an elevator ride that doubles as an immersive simulation of rising high above the bustling streets of Jerusalem, Palestine’s exposition takes visitors on a sensory cultural tour. Visitors can see the sights of Palestine, inhale its aromas and taste its delicious cuisine and don a virtual-reality headset and feel the whole experience come together.

The Switzerland Pavilion was another stop on His Highness’s tour. The Pavilion themed ‘Reflections’ features iconic cubic architecture, a giant interactive mirrored facade and a ‘Swiss crystal cave’. Visitors can go on a hike through a sea of fog or travel on a magic carpet to feel the thrill of excitement as Switzerland’s breathtaking nature comes into view. Visitors can also enjoy magnificent landscapes and discover opportunities offered by the country, in addition to tasting Swiss chocolate specialities.

Sheikh Mohammed also visited Emirates’ Pavilion, which presents the Dubai-based airline’s vision for the future of air travel, offering visitors the chance to design their own aircraft and engage with interactive exhibits. Loaded with technologies that offer a glimpse into the changing world of commercial aviation, visitors can learn about advancements that will define the travel experience of the future, both in the air and on the ground. His Highness viewed the integrated video wall at the Pavilion, which introduces the basic principles of flight, and provides a hands-on experience with materials that will be used in future aircraft design.

Being held for the first time in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, Expo 2020 Dubai houses the pavilions of 192 countries participating in the event as well as those of diverse organisations from across the world. The global show runs for 182 days until 31 March 2022. (ANI/WAM)