Now that the Shanghai 2010 World Expo had come to an end, most of the pavilions stop running , except for China Pavilion and Saudi Arabia Pavilion.
During my short getaway to Shanghai, we managed to spend a day to visit the Shanghai Expo site, making me so reminiscent of my last year’s world expo experience.
There was some renovation going on in the China Pavilion, so they only opened the first floor, which is now used for an Exhibition for Picasso’s work. We figured it’s not worth going up, so we decided only to visit the Saudi Arabia Pavilion.
Wikipedia gives us this introduction:
Built on a plot of 7,600 m², the Saudi Arabia Pavilion was the second largest after the China’s national pavilion in terms of area and height, Saudi Arabia spent $164 million on its pavilion, which was the highest figure spent by one nation amongst of all visiting countries. The pavilion was designed to resemble a giant oil tanker.
The centerpiece of the Saudi Arabia pavilion featured a huge hanging boat shaped like a half moon. Date palms were planted on the top deck of the “moon boat”, creating a hanging garden, and thus epitomizing oases in the desert. Visitors were welcomed to the pavilion in both modern, as well as traditional,Bedouin tents set among date palm trees. The Saudi government imported the date palms and a full mosque for the expo. A large screen, estimated to be the size of a soccer field, projected images of King Abdullah meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao.
China is Saudi Arabia’s fastest growing trading partner. A large stage within the pavilion was used to unveil joint Saudi-Chinese business deals, including a new railway between the cities of Mecca and Medina, which will be constructed by a Chinese firm.
According to the official site, the pavilion welcomed its 2 millionth visitor on August 1, 2010.
I’ve been wondering why people would spend 9 hours to queue up to visit the Saudi Arabia Pavilion back in 1 year ago during Shanghai 2010 World Expo. And today I know why.
The part that really attract people is this Treasure Hall Cinema – A full immersion audiovisual theater with a giant multi-projector screen showing ‘The Treasures of the Kingdom and it’s Cities’ in a bird’s-eye view:
The visual impact is absolutely amazing, one has to be inside the cinema to feel it, my camera didn’t do it justice.
If you need some general information:
Opening Hour for China and Saudi Pavilion : 9am – 6pm
Address: Yaohua Road (via Shanghai Metro Line 7)