Oman Pavilion at Expo 2020 Highlights Vision of Identity Based on Glorious Civilization and Bright Future
Dubai, 13 Nov (ONA) — Oman’s civilization is embodied in portraits throughout the ages highlighting its visions and realities. This civilization advances from the interaction that has shaped the vision of Omanis throughout history represented in preserving their cultural and social identity. The observer of this civilization will find that it is the product of collective thinking of a society that has established solid foundations from which it presses ahead in all directions, to be actively present and astonishing to the tracker of its path.
Within the framework of partnership, understanding and exchange at all spheres, the Oman pavilion continues to participate in Expo 2020 Dubai. It sheds light on diverse stories of sustainability starting from connecting minds to creating opportunities for the future, which are identical to the key themes of the Expo 2020 Dubai.
The striking design of the Omani pavilion is inspired by the frankincense tree (boswellia sacra tree). It was designed by two Omani young women; Rehab Al Zakwani and Alyaa Al Batashi, who developed touches representing an addition to the achievements made by the Omani youth in Oman. The external spaces surrounding the pavilion host ten Omani frankincense trees, which were protected by the Oman Botanic Garden in 2013 after being threatened by one of the road extensions in Hasik, in the southern part of Sultanate of Oman. These natural trees are planted in a panoramic landscape view, and they will be returned to the garden after the expo.
The Omani pavilion begins with narrating to the visitors the life of frankincense tree as the story of the pavilion. The pavilion seeks to highlight four key themes namely sustainability, fostering talents, communication and knowledge. The pavilion consists of two floors: the ground floor (the mother tree), where the visitor is at a real-life meeting with the electromechanical design of the tree, which is centered in the middle of the hall, mimicking the exact details of the natural tree and symbolizing many physical, emotional and spiritual meanings as well as its various practical uses.
On the perimeter wall, a panoramic screen shows the story of Omani frankincense from Wadi Douka and its journey via the world’s various civilizations through times (trade in the Arabian Peninsula, mummification in ancient Egypt, Christian prayers in the Old Testament and traditional Chinese medicine), in line with the key theme of Expo 2020 Dubai, Connecting Minds.
On the first floor, the Growth Hall “The Forest of Sustainability”, visitors walk through a virtual forest of frankincense trees made from transparent display screens used to showcase eight different sustainability stories in Oman. The stories are about projects of sustainable dimension namely the Million Date Palm Plantation Project, the use of drone techniques for pollination and fish farming, the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology to feed fish, renewable energy and wind energy project in Dhofar, sustainable cities, environmental conservation, waste management, the Oman Botanic Garden, and the marvellous and unique diversity of terrains in the Sultanate of Oman.
The first floor themed the Harvest Hall, displays the methods adopted by Sultanate of Oman in fostering talents and resources, the transfer of skills and knowledge between generations and disciplines. It also highlights new ideas and opportunities to create a vibrant society.
The first floor of the pavilion is a modern and active area with a focus laid on people through the use of display screens that resemble frankincense crystals telling stories about Oman’s knowledge-based economy, such as An Omani scholar specializing in antiquity who talks about frankincense, music, creative industries, women in the higher fields, nascent Omani companies and Sultan Qaboos academic chairs.
The first floor also hosts the Hall of Trade, which is about a journey through time and space, starting from a display on the wall of an ancient port (Al Baleed site) for the export of frankincense till reaching Oman’s future vision. The hall shows activities of transporting humans, goods and information and highlighting land, sea, air transport initiatives and the ambitious large-scale infrastructure in Oman.
The second and final floor hosts the Use Hall (The Future). It houses a future interactive library of expertise and represents a spiritual and futuristic space, where visitors are treated with multi-sensory experiences starting with the future garden and conducting a live experiment on frankincense seedlings during the expo.
Visitors to the Omani Pavilion also enjoy aromatic capsules dedicated to sniffing different types of frankincense blends from Oman under a bright light passing through frankincense crystals.
A visitor from the United States said that the Sultanate of Oman pavilion was “great and unique.” Although I have visited many international fairs, the Oman pavilion is characterized by organization and the utilization of modern technologies to present inspiring solutions for the future.
He added that the pavilion showcases Omani projects and modern ideas of a sustainable nature for the future. It also highlights the major focus of Expo 2020 Dubai, namely sustainability. He expressed his admiration over the symbol of the mother tree (frankincense tree) in the pavilion and its role in demonstrating the key theme of this global event, Connecting Minds, in a manner that this symbol of tree communicates with ancient civilizations in the East and West.
Another visitor to the Oman pavilion from Barbados described the Sultanate of Oman as “a jewel hidden from the world”. He noted that during his tour to the pavilion, he familiarized himself with various tourist landmarks and Omani archaeological sites registered with the UNESCO World Heritage List. He added that those in charge of the pavilion welcome visitors and always keen to highlight contents of the Oman pavilion, as well as the themes presented in line with Expo 2020 Dubai in terms of sustainability, mobility and opportunities for the future.
A female visitor from the United States expressed her delight at visiting the Oman pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai, saying that “I know the Sultanate of Oman and I visited your country and I worked in Oman, so I wanted to keep my friends closely informed of the Sultanate of Oman, its cultural features and themes exhibited in the pavilion, such as sustainability and mobility.”
She added that the themes of Expo 2020 Dubai are closely linked to international efforts to preserve the planet, which many pavilions participating in this global event are seeking to highlight.
She pointed out that Sultanate of Oman is a country of civilization that maintains communication and interaction with various civilizations through trade. She expressed her admiration over the unique products of the frankincense tree and its various medical uses.
Meanwhile, Egyptian journalist Ahmed Morsi considered the pavilion of Sultanate of Oman as one of the most important pavilions in Expo 2020 Dubai. He explained that Oman is presenting itself in this global event in a fantastic form by showcasing ambitious Omani youth projects and employing high-tech facilities while maintaining a balance between the past and the present and looking forward to future opportunities.
A young man from the United States wished to visit the Sultanate of Oman, noting that his tour at the Oman pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai gave him an opportunity to learn about the features of Oman’s civilization and the contents that highlight the theme of mobility within the Oman pavilion in particular and Expo 2020 Dubai in general.
He said, “We, as individuals, would like to explore the exhibits at the pavilion and expand our knowledge of sustainable solutions and projects showcased via technologies that cope with the technological progress taking place worldwide”.
Expo 2020 Dubai opened its doors in the beginning of October 2021 and will continue till 31 March 2021.