Team Thailand and the cultural performers at the “Thailand Pavilion Launch and Networking Reception.” Kamal Kassim/Gulf Today
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Magnifying the colour of their pavilion, Team Thailand in a splendid sea of golden yellow that augurs prosperity, officially launched their participation at Expo 2020 Dubai on Monday evening.
Guests from public and private entities as well as members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps in the UAE were welcomed by Thailand Ambassador to the UAE Waravuth Pouapinya, Consul General in Dubai and the Northern Emirates Chairat Sirivat, and a special delegation from Bangkok’s DIgital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA), at the “Thailand Pavilion Networking Reception” held in Dusit Thani Dubai, among the iconic global representations of the unconquered Southeast Asian kingdom.
Incidentally, Rak and Li are the winners at the Thailand Pavilion Mascot Design Contest and they metaphor the “Crown Flower” which the Thais call as “Dok Rak.” These indigenous flowers are among the features of the pavilion “just as flowers spread pollen to reproduce, (the Dok Rak blossoms and garlands) suggest continuing progress and growth.”
Meanwhile, during the main event, the guests had a sampling of the musicality of the Thais when the Thailand Pavilion Youth Ambassadors performed the “Oh I Say: Royal Composition No.21” composed in 1955 by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
As Thailand’s participation at the landmark World Exposition in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia is spearheaded by the Ministry of Digital Economy & Society where Thailand Pavilion Commissioner General Ajarin Pattanapanchai is the Permanent Secretary, DEPA is the body responsible for the country’s representation.
Thai performers during the ceremony in Dubai.
Through a video clip, Pattanapanchai said the Thailand Pavilion is “ready”. She encouraged the guests to come visit it as its grand opening is on Oct. 1 (Friday) with Thailand Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai as the chief guest. Another video presentation timeline-d the following: April 18, 2017--Bangkok Announcement of the Thailand Participation at Expo2020Dubai; Jan. 13, 2019--Unveiling of the Pavilion Design; Feb. 14, 2019--Launch of the Mascot Design Contest; April 28, 2019--Groundbreaking Ceremonies; Nov. 15, 2019--Launch of the Best Thailand Products Selection.
In his welcome speech, Sirivat described the pavilion as one of a kind: “Thailand has been participating in the World Expo since 1862. To date, we have joined this World’s Greatest Show for more than 30 times. But this time at Expo 2020 Dubai, at the city that never ceases to break the record, Thailand Pavilion has broken our own record as we built the largest pavilion ever in the history of Thailand’s participation in the World Expo.”
He continued: “On the 28th of April 2019, only a few days after my arrival in Dubai to assume the duty as consul general, I witnessed the beginning of the making of Thailand Pavilion at the groundbreaking ceremony and on that day, Thailand became the first Southeast Asian nation to begin the construction of the Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.”
The Thailand Pavilion sits on a 3,600-square metre plot at the Mobility District of the Expo 2020 Dubai, south of Dubai. It is marked with the Thai architecture version of the gable roof and promises to exude the warmth, hospitality and friendly smiles of the over 70 million Thais the world over.
Its theme is “Mobility for the Future and according to the consul general this “highlights the country’s advancement in economy driven by technology and innovation, development breakthroughs and smart movement of people, goods, data and idea. Not only do we showcase our potential as a regional hub for digital technology, trade, investment, smart cities, healthcare and tourism, we also offer our guests the unique experience of Thai culture and hospitality through amazing exhibitions in four aspects.”
The four aspects are Thai cuisine, cultural performances, Thai products and souvenirs, as well as thematic activities until March 30, 2022.
In his opening remarks, Pouapinya expressed his gratitude to everyone who have spent their time and effort in the pavilion construction: “The construction of all country pavilions, including Thailand, was not smooth sailing. 2020 was indeed the time of difficulty for all of us. The duration and the severity of the (Novel Coronavirus) pandemic have posed a lot of challenges to Expo 2020. However, the efficient measures in dealing with the pandemic and integrated plans to safeguard the health and well-being of the community make this Expo possible, thanks to the great efforts and visions of the leaders and government of the UAE. With the visionary directives of the UAE leaders, Expo 2020 Dubai is literally a pool of opportunities for humanity in the difficult time as it helped drive economic recovery and create jobs for people.”
According to the ambassador, diplomatic relations between Thailand and the UAE were established on Dec.12, 1975 or 45 years back: “We are still celebrating this milestone. There will be a reception and exhibition at the Thailand Pavilion in mid-December to commemorate this auspicious occasion.”
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