9-year-old Abu Dhabi boy tours 189 pavilions in just 7 visits, aspires to be a scientist - GulfToday

9-year-old Abu Dhabi boy tours 189 pavilions in just 7 visits, aspires to be a scientist

Mohammed Maazul Haque poses with the Expo passport at the Expo 2020 Dubai.

Inayat-ur-Rahman, Business Editor

It’s heartening to see children as young as nine get inspiration for life from events like Expo 2020 Dubai.

Mohammed Maazul Haque, 9, is one of thousands of youngsters, who left high-spirited after every visit to the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The 3rd grader at Global Indian International School – originally from India and a resident of Abu Dhabi – now wants to become a scientist. And with the UAE making strides in the space domain, Haque’s dream is as ambitious as the country’s itself.

The Expo 2020 is nothing short of a marvel for Dubai, which is known to the world to undertake unique projects.

Some 192 countries have set up pavilions at the event, a first time in world expo history.

Maazul Haque poses for a photograph at the Expo 2020 Dubai.

The sight and site of such an impressive lineup can be imposing, but not for little Haque, who along with his father Mohd Fareedul Haque managed to collect stamps from 189 countries in just 7 visits.

“I went to Expo 2020 on October 1, 2021, with great excitement and anticipation. I was thrilled about the new experience and saw how countries had made an effort for a greener and safer tomorrow,” he said.

On his first day, Haque collected stamps from six countries and the Terra pavilion. Much to his disappointment, one country pavilion didn’t have a stamp.

On his second visit (October 8), they changed their strategy, and visited the larger pavilions, getting nine stamps. 
On his third visit (October 9), they marked the countries in the Mobility Area on the Expo Map and got 23 stamps.

Before their fourth visit (October 14), they printed out a list of the smaller countries in the Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity Areas and were able to collect over 40 stamps.

On their fifth visit (October 17), they updated their list of the remaining countries and colour coded them according to their areas, again collecting over 40 stamps.

Following their list, they covered over 30 countries on their sixth visit (October 23) and got more than 30 stamps.

Maazul Haque at the Indian pavilion.

And on their seventh and last visit (October 30), Haque was able to surmount the challenge of visiting all the country pavilions at Expo 2020.

“I was able to get stamps from 189 countries from a total of 192 participating countries,” said a joyous Haque.

The countries that remained (Eritrea and Micronesia) were out of stamps despite Haque’s repeated visits, while the Libya pavilion was still under construction.

In addition to country pavilions, Haque and his father visited several exhibitions from Expo 2020 partners and organisations and got their stamps (21) as well.

Commenting on the highlights of Expo 2020, Haque said: “We enjoyed the water feature and light show at Al Wasl Plaza Dome, and the Vision Pavilion was an inspiration. The Alif – The Mobility Pavilion inspired me to become an astronaut.”

At the Opportunity pavilion, Haque enjoyed the game of growing vegetables. There he made a pledge to keep his environment clean and sustainable.

Al-Wasl-Expo2020 A bird’s eye view of the Expo 2020 Dubai site.

At the Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion, he loved seeing insects on a rotating lotus.
“The Luxemburg pavilion had a giant slide and it was really fun. Hungary had a pool of balls in which I played, and enjoyed their show,” he said.

Haque saw numerous parades, music shows, concerts, scientist carts, airplane and drone shows.

“At the Austrian pavilion, I made a robot; the animation movie at the UAE pavilion was very good; and at the Indian pavilion, I learned new yoga moves and about India’s space mission,” he said.

“The volunteers and staff at the pavilions were very friendly. We got many gifts like cookies, chocolates, honey spoons, biscuits, lockets, etc,” Haque concluded.

Haque’s only regret was that he couldn’t see His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

“It was my dream to meet His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, but unfortunately I could not meet him during my seven visits to Expo2020.”

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