Expo 2020 Dubai, one of the largest and most prestigious global events of its kind originally set to take place last year, is now rescheduled to be held for a period of six months starting 1 October until 31 March 2022.
The Expo, spanning over a 438-hectare area (1,083 acres) is portrayed to be a gathering place, where the world comes together to create a better tomorrow. The event will be enclosed by three large thematic districts of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. Sri Lanka will be participating at a specially designed and dedicated pavilion in the ‘Opportunity District’ of the Expo Village in a 300 square metre space.
The pavilion with its water-based theme was designed by a team from the University of Moratuwa and has been recognised as one of the best designs at Expo 2020 Dubai resulting in the Sri Lankan pavilion being constructed on a complimentary basis by the Expo organisers.
The pavilion showcases the hydraulic civilisation in a touristic perspective bringing out the three positioning pillars of Authenticity, Compactness and Diversity while taking visitors on a journey through history, culture, nature, people, and many facets of the destination through storytelling to inspire and showcase Sri Lanka to the world.
Silent display screens at the pavilion will feature the unique facets of the island in all its wonder and awe and Sri Lanka Tourism is in the process of developing the required video and digital content for the pavilion thereby creating digital content for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is also to be represented at an auxiliary venue at the ‘Souq’, a market place which will function as a sales outlet for many local arts, crafts, and culture. This outlet will be managed by Laksala for the duration of the event. The Sri Lankan pavilion will additionally have a Tea Corner, which will be managed by the Sri Lankan Tea Board and a Retail Corner facilitated by the Export Development Board.
Sri Lanka Tourism has built a collision in presenting Sri Lanka strong and vibrant at Expo 2020 Dubai in partnership with the Sri Lanka Embassy in UAE and the Consulate in Dubai, Gem and Jewellery Authority, Export Development Board, Sri Lanka Tea Board, Laksala, Board of Investment, Port City, SriLankan Airlines, and the National Chamber of Exporters. Fun Time Events together with VFS Global supports as the Event Management Partners selected through the government tender process.
Key highlights from the Sri Lanka Pavilion will include a gem auction, a fashion show featuring traditional batik designs, a wedding show positioning Sri Lanka as a wedding and honeymoon destination, a cultural dance show, drum festival showcasing Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage though dance and music and a Children’s Story Telling session featuring Sybil Wettasinghe’s ‘Sun, Rain and Fox Wedding’ portraying Sri Lanka’s rich literature and culture.
Events and activations at the pavilion will include gem cutting, mask carving, traditional weaving to name a few. SriLankan Airlines will additionally organise a raffle draw with a social media engagement drive to boost Sri Lanka’s digital presence at the Expo.
The Sri Lankan contingent will also host a Trade and Investor Forum under the leadership of BOI, Tea Tasting and Trade Forum under Tea Board and a Travel and Tourism Forum. These forums are expected to generate trade and investment opportunities for Sri Lanka and to create growth opportunities for the Sri Lankan industry.
Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando said: “Sri Lanka Tourism has had very little time and resources to prepare for Expo 2020 Dubai, however despite the challenges we have curated a spectacular pavilion and offering and are ready for Expo 2020 Dubai. Our unique pavilion will communicate to the world the multitude of experiences available for travellers to explore.
“We are in the process of developing some amazing digital content which will be showcased at the Expo. Most importantly we have partnered and built a collision with other line agencies to ensure we yield growth opportunities for Sri Lanka where the BOI will lead with the investment drive, the Tea Board will showcase our tea heritage and the Gem and Jewellery Authority will promote our world-famous sapphires.”