Sajjad Ahmed, Deputy Business Editor
The photo has been used for illustrative purpose.
The ancient coffin of Priest Psamtik has arrived in Dubai to be displayed for Egypt Pavilion visitors at Expo Dubai 2020. The coffin of priest Psamtik, ‘the son of Pediosir’ is one of the coloured wooden coffins that were recently discovered in the area of Saqqara by the archaeological mission of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
The coffin is decorated with a large necklace that ends with the heads of a falcon, with the goddess of sky ‘Nut’ appears spreading her wings, carrying the two feathers of ‘Maat‘ (the goddess of truth and justice).
The centre part of the coffin is decorated with religious incantations. Around its sides are two rows of ‘Was’ deities holding a sceptre in her hands. At the lower part of the coffin, two figures of the god of afterlife Anubis appear above his cottage standing in front of the deceased.
A group of modern replicas of King Tutankhamun have also arrived to be displayed at Egypt pavilion.
The collection of King Tutankhamun replicas include his golden mask, his own sarcophagus, the ‘Ka’ guardian statue of the king, the special festive chair as well as the golden king’s throne.
Oman’s arresting Roadshow
Maitha Bint Saif Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Oman.
The Oman Ministry of Heritage and Tourism held a Roadshow in Dubai to highlight the Sultanate’s participation at Expo 2020. The event commenced with a press conference for the media, followed by a B2B workshop.
At the press conference, Maitha Bint Saif Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism, underlined the specifics of the Omani pavilion, in the presence of several Omani officials.
She accentuated that the Ministry’s enthusiasm to be part of this global forum stems from the quest to introduce the Oman to world and the strategic projects and ambitious initiatives it adopts to achieve Oman Vision 2040.
Recently, in a landmark move, Oman approved free entry for citizens from 103 countries for a non-extendable period of 10 days.
The move has been hailed by travel/tourism industries from around the world.
That’s not all, following the Supreme Committee’s decision to permit anyone holding an approved vaccine certificate entrance, Oman has eased its travel restrictions, lifting flight prohibitions for people travelling from previously banned countries, as per the circular issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Sultanate.
All Omani citizens, residents, those who don’t require a visa to travel to Oman, and those who can obtain a visa on arrival are allowed into the country in accordance with the pre-COVID-19 protocols. Visitors will be required to present a vaccine certificate containing a QR code that states they have received two doses of a vaccine that is approved in Oman which are — Pfizer BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca, Sputnik, Sinovac, Moderna, Sinopharm, Covishield AstraZeneca, or one dose of Johnson’s vaccine.
The last dose of the vaccine needs to have been received no less than 14 days before the arrival date.
“The tourism sector is one of the key drivers of the Sultanate, as per Oman 2040 vision, supported with investments from the government and private sector.
Several tourism and infrastructure projects have helped support the tourism sector, most notably the Muscat International Airport and the opening of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center, that have contributed to the revitalisation of tourism.
In addition, the facilities for tourist visas provided by the Royal Oman Police have also contributed to an increase in the number of tourists coming to the Sultanate,” said Maitha Bint Saif Al Mahrouqi.
The tourism sector in Oman accounts for 2.5% of total GDP, and the number of visitors to the Sultanate increased over the past four years (2015-2019) with a growth rate of 7.4%, reaching 3.5 million visitors in 2019 compared to 2.6 million visitors in the year 2015.
There has also been an exponential increase in the number of hotel establishments in 2020, with 547 structures taking shape compared to 492 in 2019. This indicates an increase of 11.2%, providing 26,733 hotel rooms and apartments in 2020 compared to 25,408, an increase of 5.2% over 2019.
The primary purpose of Oman pavilion is to promote the Sultanate’s rich tradition and culture on a global stage, as well as foster ties with other Middle Eastern states and countries across the globe. Maitha bint Saif Al Mahrouqi highlighted varied activities that will be of focus at the upcoming mega show to promote the country, its people, culture and attract investments in different areas, particularly tourism. “We are thrilled to be participating at the Expo 2020, a unique and powerful platform that will serve as a catalyst to introduce Oman’s uniqueness to people across the world.
While the Expo will strengthen our presence in tourism across the region and beyond, it will also serve as an opportunity to cement our relationships with varied stakeholders of the industry.
Maitha Bint Saif Al Mahrouqi concluded,“This event today is an important milestone for us to bring to focus some of our key partnerships and associations with the best tour organisations in the Middle East, which will help us promote Oman and its offerings to the UAE citizens and travellers visiting the country for Expo 2020 in an efficient way.”
The notion of coffins in the ancient Egyptian civilization is of great significance from a religious and symbolic point of view, as it is the most important phase in the burial process and the place where the body of the deceased is prepared for the process of judgment in the afterlife.
The transfer of these artifacts comes to assure the keenness of all Egyptian state agencies to maximise all their capabilities to grant the success of the Egyptian participation in Expo Dubai 2020 and to ensure that Egypt’s pavilion reflect the significance of the country’s role and leadership as one of the most top tourist attractions and archaeological destinations in the world.
The Expo 2020 Dubai will also offer visitors a unique opportunity to see three key heritage artefacts from the Canaanite and Pharaonic civilisations, and the Renaissance era.
The artefacts include a copy of the Ugarit alphabet, which is the first alphabet known by humanity and a 3D version of Michelangelo’s sculpture, “David.”
At the Egyptian pavilion, visitors can witness a rare archaeological piece.
The three-story pavilion, situated in the “Opportunities” area, will highlight the profound historic value and cultural wealth of Egypt and will be built in the pharaonic style engraved with hieroglyphs and an image of the famous Pharaoh, Tutankhamun, while its main entrance will have three angles simulating the pyramids.