Expo 2020 to spice up Saudi Day

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Visitors move around different pavilions at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Kamal Kassim, Gulf Today

Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

To celebrate Saudi Day, the Saudi Arabia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, will host an array of cultural experiences, performances, and celebratory activities. The landmark event Friday will bring the spirit of Saudi Arabia and its award-winning Pavilion to multiple areas of Expo 2020. The planned program embodies the Kingdom’s opportunities, innovation, culture, and creativity – exploring its heritage, celebrating the present and looking ahead to its bright future as part of the country’s visionary transformation, Vision 2030.

The celebrations across 18 events and 10 different locations across the Expo site including Al Wasl Plaza, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Pavilion, Al Forsan Park, Al Ghaf Avenue, the Business Connect Center, Jubilee Park, Sun Stage, Sea Stage, Earth Stage and the main entrance of the Mobility District.

Commenting on the day’s celebrations, Hussain Hanbazazah, Commissioner General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Pavilion, said: “It is an honour to welcome Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, the Kingdom’s Culture Minister to Expo 2020 Dubai to oversee an exhilarating program of events that will take visitors on an unforgettable journey that celebrates the Kingdom’s ancient past, the present, and our bright future. Saudi day allows us to showcase and celebrate with the world the best of the Kingdom and its people – our vision, culture and heritage and history.”

Broadcast live on the world’s largest LED screen, visitors can watch the ‘Saudi Cultural Show’ hosted at Al Wasl Plaza – showcasing Saudi Arabia’s exciting future, envisaged through a powerful, visually rich story with state-of-the-art 3D projections displayed across a 360-degree laser projection surface. The event will be attended by VIPs, government officials and business leaders who will witness a special live orchestral performance with 90 musicians, an opera singer, and the Royal Ardah (Sword dance) in a tribute to Saudi’s traditional culture. The performance will conclude with a dazzling fireworks display that will light up the skies above Expo 2020 Dubai.

High-profile dignitaries and business leaders will be present in the ‘Business Connect Center’ to join the ‘Saudi Business Briefing’, where representatives from the Saudi Ministry of Investment share updates on investment opportunities and programs in the Kingdom – including giga projects such as the futuristic city of NEOM, the Red Sea Development Company, Diriyah Gate Development Authority, and ROSHN, Saudi’s largest real estate developer.

At the Saudi Pavilion, the Open Square will feature a live stream of the ‘Saudi Cultural Show’ at Al Wasl Plaza as well as other Saudi Day events and events taking place throughout the site of Expo 2020 Dubai. The Open Square will host cultural performances by the ‘Flower Men of Asir’ – and a musical show by a military band performing traditional folkloric dances. The Saudi Pavilion will also be screening the film ‘Kingdom of Opportunities’, which explores the role of Saudi Arabia in supporting and empowering aspiring Saudi entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses.

An unforgettable night of musical extravaganza is also in store. As part of the ‘Amjad, The Saudi Music Night’, fans of Saudi singing sensation, Mohamed Abdo, are in for a treat as the musical maestro will take to the stage at the Jubilee Park for an exclusive 90-minute performance accompanied by an orchestra. Saudi pop star sensation Ayed will also join the celebrations with a performance. Music lovers can also tap their feet to special Saudi DJ performances underneath the stars, set to entertain audiences with up-beat Saudi tunes at the Sea, Sun and Earth stages.

The ‘Saudi Experience Festival’ takes over Al Forsan Park with a wide array of experiences, performances and activities for people of all ages. A ‘Saudi Fashion Show’ will set the runway alight with contemporary pieces and collections designed by the next generation of Saudi talent. The show will feature collections by Saudi designers ‘Reem Al Kanhal’, ‘KafbyKaf’, ‘R9designs’ and ‘1886’.

Visitors can also participate in Sadu weaving, one of Saudi Arabia’s oldest traditional forms of weaving, while children can enjoy a world of fun across a range of activities. Those looking to simulate the experience of visiting Saudi Arabia are invited to explore the immersive 360° panoramic backdrops of Saudi Arabia’s UNESCO heritage sites such as At-Turaif District in Diriyah, the Hegra Archaeological Site in AlUla, Historic Jeddah, among other picturesque locations.

At Al Ghaf Avenue, visitors can enjoy watching the ‘Saudi Cultural Parade’, led by 80 military band members featuring trumpets and drums, a unique fashion show that will showcase traditional and contemporary trends in the Kingdom, and a procession of horses that celebrates the historic significance of these majestic animals within Saudi Arabia’s rich culture. The ‘Saudi Green Falcons’ will put on a stunning aerial show, filling the skies above Expo 2020 Dubai.

Saudi Arabia’s Pavilion is among the most popular attractions at Expo 2020 Dubai. It recently announced reaching two million visitors in 86 days, nearly 30 percent of the total visitors to Expo since it opened in October. As the largest guest nation structure at Expo, the Pavilion is a ‘window’ to the world, reflecting Saudi Arabia’s past, present and future, and showcases its 13 regions through immersive and interactive exhibits.

Pop-rap trio Black Eyed Peas will headline the fourth show in Expo 2020 Dubai’s six-month Infinite Nights series, performing live at Al Wasl Plaza on 25 January, 2022.

Meanwhile, having risen to world megastardom thanks to a run of some of the biggest hits of the 21st century, the chart-topping group are now joining the making of a new world, as they explore new frontiers and the opportunities of tomorrow at Expo 2020.

Each artist playing throughout the Infinite Nights series is portraying their own vision and experience of Expo 2020. Following the great success of the Alicia Keys show, we have proudly crossed an unprecedented 15 million video views – with the global and regional audience watching the full show online across different platforms.

Black Eyed Peas – will.i.am, Apl.de.Ap and Taboo – are aligned with Expo’s subtheme of Mobility, creating a show inspired by the pace and pulse of technology and music, that explores and embraces new musical frontiers.

The Los Angeles-formed trio comprise a wide range of international backgrounds, and the group’s inclusive and progressive values could not be more apt – especially in the context of a World Expo that brings together 200 different nationalities.

The Black Eyed Peas said: “As a group, we continue to evolve our music to connect with the hearts and minds of our community around the world. We are excited about our upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai Infinite Nights special concert that will showcase chart-topping music from our recent album “TRANSLATION” as well as our greatest hits. On January 25th, we will bring the world together for a global celebration via our live stage performance.”

Lubna Haroun, Vice President, Moment-Makers, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “After the huge global success we enjoyed with Alicia Keys performing in Infinite Nights in December, we cannot wait to host our second global stars here at Expo 2020 Dubai. The Black Eyed Peas have always inspired us with their progressive global outlook and innovative approach to exploring new musical possibilities, making them the perfect fit for Expo 2020 and for its subtheme of Mobility.”

Engaging the world through innovative show formats employing the latest entertainment technology, the Infinite Nights series thrills audiences both physically and digitally, uniting the world through the power of music with a host of celebrated artists performing live from Al Wasl Plaza, with the concerts streamed to a global audience*.

Black Eyed Peas will perform at Al Wasl Plaza at 2200 GST on Tuesday, 25 January, and visitors wishing to attend the concert are advised to arrive early.

The concert will be livestreamed globally on www.virtualexpodubai.com, and available to watch across multiple channels, including Expo TV on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok and Oculus (VR). Several TV channels will also live broadcast the show.

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