What can we learn about Saudi Arabia from Shanghai Expo 2010 and beyond?

I remember that there were too many people queueing to visit the Saudi Arabia Pavilion at Expo Shanghai 2010, hence I had never physically visited the pavilion, in spite of many positive comments.

Thankfully, we can have a glimpse of the pavilion through youtube and kind users who generously shared their videos. The music is interesting, simultaneously soothing and grandeur.

The pavilion of Islamic architecture-style is affectionately known as the Moon Boat, that was imagined to sail to Mecca.

Visitors went around the pavilion clockwise. Being VIPs means privilege, because VIPs do not need to join the long queue (often under the scorchingly hot sun).

On top of the Moon Boat is the oasis with palm tree.

The discovery of oil in 1930s has transformed Saudi Arabia.

In 2015, honey panda with friends from Malaysia and Myanmar enjoyed a dinner at Saudi Kitchen. Honey panda fondly remembers the prawns.

In the spring break of 2015, a colleague S and his wife N went to Saudi Arabia for a pilgrimage. They shared that it was not easy to arrange for the travel and visa. I’m happy that they succeeded in their pilgrimage, thank you Allah for protecting this lovely couple.

On 20150929, a team member who was involved in a disagreement with another team member, shared with me about her experience of doing pilgrimage Hajj in Saudi Arabia. She highlighted that it was very hot and she had to walk around 20 km daily.

Some years ago, I heard about King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) because a neighbour of a former mentor moved there. It seems to be a unique campus, different from those in the West, East and Middle East.

In recent years, I also learned about ARAMCO (formerly Arabian-American Oil Company), a Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company based in Dhahran. According to 2015 Forbes report, Aramco is said to be the world’s largest oil and gas company, hence the world’s most valuable company.

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