Shanghai World Expo 2010 - The Middle-East Pavilions

Most of the pavilions of the Middle East are from oil-rich countries, and cost was of no concern compared to putting up a good and impressive show. Saudi Arabia reputedly spent over 100 USD on their pavilion which is like a boat planted with date trees on top. Though most of them have money to burn, design-wise they are quite a mixed bag.

The mother of all the Middle-East pavilions has got to be the Saudi Arabia Pavilion. It is shaped like a boat, supposedly loaded with "dreams and friendship" as a gift for China. With date palms planted on the top deck, and floated on slender legs, the pavilion looks a bit surreal and looked like it had just sailed in from somewhere. It’s no wonder this is one of the most popular pavilions at the Expo. The record waiting time was about 9 hours! Forget about getting in unless you have World-class patience.

The next most expensive Middle-East Pavilion is probably The UAE (United Arab Emirates) Pavilion. Its shape is designed to evoke the sand dunes of the deserts. To me it looked more like a gigantic set of sensuous lips. Clad entirely in gold-coloured stainless steel, you can literally see where the money is spent. They even employed starchitect Forster & Partners from UK to design the pavilion.

The Arab's love of horses is evident here.

This is a rendering of the UAE Pavilion. You can't really see this view on Site. Don't you think they look like gigantic lips ?

The Israeli Pavilion looked like something Frank Gehry would have done, but based on my Google search it was actually designed by Israeli architect Haim Zotan. The Chinese have nicknamed this pavilion “The Seashell” and I can see why.

The Qatar Pavilion. Not much to talk about.

Even Iran and Pakistan are represented.

The Iran Pavilion.

The Pakistan Pavilion.


I think the UAE one is best.

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