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Oman Pavilion highlights Oman’s ‘Vision of Identity’ at Expo 2020

14 Nov 2021

Oman’s civilisation is embodied in portraits throughout the ages highlighting its visions and realities. This civilisation advances from the interaction that has shaped the vision of Omanis throughout history represented in preserving their cultural and social identity, as evident in the Oman Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The observer of this civilisation 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 participates 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.

Highlighting four themes

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 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. It seeks to highlight four key themes – 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 electro-mechanical design of the tree, which is centered in the middle of the hall, mimicking the exact details of the natural tree and symbolising 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 Dawkah and its journey via the world’s various civilisations through time (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, in 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 dimensions, 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 unique diversity of terrain in the Sultanate of Oman.

The first floor themed the Harvest Hall, displays the methods adopted by the 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 specialising 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.

ONA

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