The Pakistan Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai, which has garnered immense interest and generated some success in local and international circles, announced that 1 million people have visited it since it opened its doors to the public in October last year.
“After a successful five months at Expo 2020, we are happy to celebrate our 1 million visitors milestone crossed last week,” the pavilion’s official Instagram handle announced on Tuesday. Overall, the Expo is estimated to have attracted more than 10 million people, and features pavilion from 192 countries — making Pakistan’s exhibit one of the most popular ones.
Covering an area of 35,000 square-feet, under the theme ‘Pakistan: The Hidden Treasure’, the pavilion’s façade and interior cost $28.72 million to build. It has been seen by many as not only a source of pride, but also for its potential to bring much-needed foreign exchange inflow in the country.
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The Pakistan Pavilion also dedicated each month to one region: October to December were focused on Sindh, Punjab, KPK, and Balochistan, while February highlighted Gilgit Baltistan.
“March has been designated as ‘Kashmir month’ and we expect to attract more visitors to our pavilion,” Afzaal Mahmood, Ambassador of Pakistan to the United Arab Emirates, was quoted as saying recently by Gulf News.
On Tuesday, ‘Kashmir month’ was inaugurated by Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
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“Throughout the month… we will not only display our rich heritage and culture, but also present tourism and investment opportunities in Kashmir,” Chaudhry told journalists.
Mahmood took the opportunity to explain that Expo 2020 Dubai gave Pakistan the opportunity “to present our 9,000-year-old history to the world”.
“We have already arranged more than 250 events at the Pavilion… response has been tremendous, as we have so far signed more than 100 MoUs [memorandums of understanding] worth billions of dollars,” he added.
Twenty-five of these MoUs, worth $2 billion, were signed by the government of Gilgit Baltistan at the GB Investment Conference, which took place on the sidelines of the expo.
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KPK signed some 40 MoUs worth $8 billion while the Sindh government has also signed 6 initial agreements.
As for Punjab, UAE’s Dhabi Group has said will invest more than Rs60 billion in a construction project, while an agreement was signed with Nokia to launch a smart city pilot.
Housed in the Opportunity District of the Expo, among the key goals of the Pakistan Pavilion has been to boost the country’s trade.
The pavilion is the brainchild of multidisciplinary visual artist Noorjehan Bilgrami, who worked alongside a creative team that included architects Shahid Abdulla and artist Rashid Rana, who designed the awe-inspiring façade of the structure.