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.
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.
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.
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.”
The Expo 2020 Dubai twitter account said, “Eight years of dedication and now we are only 5 days away to welcoming the world. This is our time!”
According to a recent study by PayFort, the GCC’s online retail revenues are expected to reach $69 billion by 2020. “The UAE leads the way regionally in terms of online sales, with 62 percent of citizens now shopping online, and annual sales expected to reach US$23.7 billion by 2022.” This was stated by Mauro Romano, CEO, ArabClicks, during an exclusive interview with Gulf Today.
Emirates has completed the installation of Expo 2020 Dubai liveries on 40 aircraft, with its final A380 aircraft emblazoned in the distinctive orange ‘opportunity’ decal rolling out of the Emirates Engineering hangar.
Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn Quintana on Wednesday evening said Manila will participate in the Expo 2020 Dubai and its pavilion will be reflective of who the Filipino is not only in these modern times but through the ages and beyond.
Safwan is a resident of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, who purchased the ticket 011830.
Passengers expressed their gratitude to Sharjah Airport for the seamless procedures that enabled pilgrims to speed up travel processes, locate their designated gates with ease, as well as receive quality assistance services.
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, approved a new reward system for Dubai's best high school students.
Currently, with the increase in fuel prices, the taximeter starts from Dhs7 during the time between 8:00am and 10:00pm with a minimum fare of Dhs17.5, and during the time between 10:00pm and 6:00am, starts from Dhs9 with a minimum fare of Dhs19.5.