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UAE Pavilion at Expo Yeosu 2012 opened

posted on 13/05/2012: 3136 views



Yeosu, S. Korea - UAE Ambassador to South Korea Abdullah Khalfan Matar Al Romaithi officially opened the national pavilion of the United Arab Emirates at the 2012 Yeosu Expo. Well before the opening ceremony, thousands of Korean visitors were seen queuing up in a long line outside the innovative facade of the UAE pavilion.

The edifice, themed around oceans and coasts, and complete with its graphic 'time-line' illustrating key stages in the UAE's development is organised by the National Media Council of UAE.

In his opening address, Ambassador Al Romaithi conveyed to the people and government of S. Korea, greetings from UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of emirates, the people and the government of the UAE.

The Ambassador said that UAE looks forward to sharing with the with the people of Korea and the wider region, together with visitors from all the participating countries, the wonders of the United Arab Emirates, particularly those related to its coastline and surrounding seas during the 2012 Yeosu Expo period.

Visitors gave a spontaneous applause to UAE envoy when he said:" We are a young country, in only our 41st year, and, as the façade of our building illustrates, we can look back on many great achievements. At the establishment of the federation in 1971, the Emirates were poorly developed with few roads, schools, hospitals or modern facilities of any kind. Oil revenues, though, were just beginning to flow and, thanks to the wisdom and leadership of our founding father and first president, Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the income was invested in building a modern infrastructure capable of supporting all aspects of social development.

We continue to be blessed by wise leadership, from our President, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, our Vice President and Prime Minister, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum, and our Cabinet. In this regard, I should like to pay special tribute to the UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is a frequent visitor to Korea, and is also Chairman of the UAE National Media Council which is responsible for this pavilion's design, construction and operations.", he said.

"We are also pleased to congratulate B.I.E. for guiding the EXPO movement and supporting this event. I hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome all the countries of the world to take part in EXPO 2020 if our current bid to host that in Dubai is successful," he added. The following is the full text of the inaugural speech delivered by Ambassador Abdullah Khalfan Matar Al Romaithi:.

It is my honour and privilege to welcome you to the opening of the UAE Pavilion at EXPO 2012 Yeosu. We are very pleased that we have this opportunity to share with the people of Korea and the wider region, together with visitors from all the participating countries, the wonders of the United Arab Emirates, particularly those related to our coastline and surrounding seas.

We are a young country, in only our 41st year, and, as the facade of our building illustrates, we can look back on many great achievements. At the establishment of the federation in 1971, the Emirates were poorly developed with few roads, schools, hospitals or modern facilities of any kind. Oil revenues, though, were just beginning to flow and, thanks to the wisdom and leadership of our founding father and first president, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the income was invested in building a modern infrastructure capable of supporting all aspects of social development. We continue to be blessed by wise leadership, from our President, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, our Vice President and Prime Minister, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum, and our Council of Ministers. In this regard, I should like to pay special tribute to the UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is a frequent visitor to Korea, and is also Chairman of the UAE National Media Council which is responsible for this pavilion's design, construction and operations.

The UAE is particularly happy to participate in EXPO 2012 for several reasons. Firstly, it is a chance to celebrate the close ties between the UAE and Korea in so many different fields from education and training to trade, construction, technology, and, of course, the whole field of energy production, including both hydrocarbons and the development of nuclear power. As each year passes, the links between Korea and the UAE grow stronger and we treasure these relations in the true spirit of cooperation and mutual respect.

A second reason for our special interest in EXPO 2012 is that it is a chance for us to participate in this global platform that is focussing on the four-fifths of our planet on which we really do depend for our survival. Not only do the world's oceans provide food and minerals but they also play a crucial role in carbon absorption and climate regulation. In addition to entertaining our visitors and informing them in a general way about the UAE, we also want to engage their attention on some more serious issues that we face. We have tried hard to reflect the theme, that of 'Living Ocean and Coast'. This is because we believe it to be of very great importance, not just to the UAE, but to the whole world. Emiratis understand this very well - perhaps more than many others.

The sea is in our blood. Our forefathers were sailors, fishermen, traders and pearl-divers. For many centuries, perhaps thousands of years, the annual cycle of life was punctuated by the departure on sailing dhows to the pearling-banks and, three months later, by the safe arrival back home of the divers and their precious harvest of natural pearls. We have been careful to preserve many of the skills and customs associated with our maritime heritage whilst also developing a modern marine infrastructure.

So how do we tell this story in an engaging and informative manner that will appeal to our visitors, young and old? There are a few surprises ahead! First of all the exhibition is punctuated throughout by the various stages in the life of one of the oldest creatures on our planet, the marine turtle. You will be introduced to it in the timeline on the facade, you can learn about it at the 'Did You Know?' presentation as we enter; you can feel and hear about it at the 'Blind Path', or play with it in Augmented Reality in the Sea Mail; or explore the turtle's world in the Infopod films; meet biologists studying turtles in the Reflections film and finally be moved and inspired by 'Pearl', one of the first turtles to be 'born' in the UAE, in the main film.

The choice of this marine sea creature as a 'character' guiding us through the UAE Pavilion was inspired by the fact that turtles coming back to UAE beaches in 2012 quite possibly include hatchlings that first made their way down to the sea in 1971. Their lifecycle thus parallels that of the United Arab Emirates and, just as there have been great changes in the sea and coast over the past 40 years, so there have been even greater changes to the land of the United Arab Emirates.

I am pleased to convey the good wishes of our President, Vice-President and Government to the organisers of EXPO 2012 Yeosu, Korea, which we are sure will be a great success. We are also pleased to congratulate B.I.E. for guiding the EXPO movement and supporting this event. I hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome all the countries of the world to take part in EXPO 2020 if our current bid to host that in Dubai is successful.

Before closing I would like to congratulate the National Media Council's EXPO Team for once again putting together a highly effective, informative, moving and inspiring display on the UAE. I hope that many Emiratis will have the chance to come here to Yeosu and see it all for themselves. I will not say more since I would like you to discover for yourself the many marine wonders of the UAE. Welcome, Ahlan Wa Sahlan !. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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