The official opening of the Sri Lanka Pavilion was inaugurated at Expo 2020 Dubai on the 1 st of October 2021. The opening ceremony featured a welcome procession with MagulBera song and a Traditional Kandyan Dance performance which was enveloped by the Sri Lankan traditional dance costumes in its glory followed by Sri Lanka’s national anthem and lighting of the oil lamp. The keynote address was delivered by the Consul General of Sri Lanka, Dubai & Northern Emirates, Mr. NalindaWijerathna. A simple yet graceful event marked the opening of the pavilion. The pavilion will be in operation for a period of 6 months where the key event for Sri Lanka being the designated national day on 3 rd January 2022 which is to be graced by the Hon. Prime Minister, Sri Lankan Ambassador to UAE, Minister of Tourism, Chairperson Sri Lanka Tourism and other dignitaries.
Located in the “Opportunity” district, the 300-sqm pavilion brings the planning principles of the ancient civilization to life, focusing onisland’s three key pillars Authenticity, Compactness and Diversity. The pavilion with its water-based theme was designed by a team from the University of Moratuwa and has been recognized as one of the best designs at Expo 2020 Dubai resulting in the Sri Lankan pavilion being constructed on a complimentary basis by the Expo organisers. At the pavilion, visitors will immerse in anexperience inspired by water – emphasizingthe value of adaptability and agility, the will to transform challenges into opportunities. Display screens at the pavilion spotlight unique facets of the island nation. The senses of the visitors will be engaged to gain information on Island’s rich culture and heritage, natural ecosystems and wildlife through these cinematic creations.
Visitors are also able to unravel the secret of the world famous Ceylon Tea, from leaf to cup, and enjoy a fresh cup of tea on their journey along the pavilionat the special tea corner courtesy of the Sri Lankan Tea Board. Theretail space facilitated by the Export Development Board will boast an array of Sri Lankan produce ranging from spices to beautiful Batik clothing.
Consul General of Sri Lanka, Dubai & Northern Emirates, Mr. NalindaWijerathna said: “We are excited to announce the opening of the amazing and imaginative Sri Lanka pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Sri Lanka has a rich and unique maritime history with shipping, trade and cultural links. Inspired by an aquatic theme, the pavilion creates a warm and welcoming space for all visitors and highlight its potential as one of the most delightful destinations in the world to visit.We invite the world to visit us at Expo 2020 Dubai”
Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson and Commissioner General for Expo for Sri Lanka, Kimarli Fernando said: “Post Covid travelers are looking for tranquility, peace, serenity and healing and Sri Lanka is uniquely positioned with an amazing offering. A walk in our mountains, a dip in our nature’s ponds, a glimpse through our history and culture will create a lasting memory. We invite the world to come indulge in our world class hospitality and nature’s luxury for an amazing getaway that is unique, authentic and So Sri Lanka”.
The Sri Lanka pavilion will host a range of exciting events including a fashion show featuring traditional batik designs, a wedding show branding Sri Lanka as a prime wedding and honeymoon destination, a cultural dance show, a drum festival illustrating Sri Lanka’s rich cultural legacy though dance and music plus a children’s storytelling session featuring work by renowned children’s books author Late Sybil Wettasinghe, representing Sri Lanka’s rich literary heritage. On opportunity to win free air tickets on a weekly basis offered through Sri Lankan Airlines at the Sri Lanka Pavilion.
Furthermore, global viral sensation ‘Yohani’ with her ‘Manike Mage Hithe’ song is expected to perform at the National day of Sri Lanka scheduled for 3 rd January 2022.
Hon. Minister of Tourism, Prasanna Ranatunga said “Sri Lanka Tourism is honoured to present Sri Lanka at Expo 2020 Dubai as a united front with other Sri Lankan entities such as EDB, Tea Board, Gem and Jewelery authority, Laksala, Sri Lankan Airlines, BOI to name a few. We had many constraints, time, budget and pandemic. Nevertheless we made it at Expo. We will promote, showcase Sri Lanka and facilitate partnerships for opportunity creation. We will do our best to position and champion Sri Lanka at Expo 2020 Dubai”.
Declared as the growth decade from 2021 to 2030 for Sri Lanka seeks a world of opportunities in investments. With the creation of the ‘One-Stop-Unit’ and ‘Single application’ system for Tourism investments and the support extended with zero VAT, Tax holidays, exemptions and other facilitations a boom in the tourism investments are expected and world invited to be a part. Also the Sri Lankan delegation is represented by BOI (Board of Investment in Sri Lanka) and Post City which will showcase many of lucrative and high potential opportunities of investment on offer for the investors.
Speaking about Sri Lanka’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai, Sri Lankan Ambassador to UAE, Ambassador, Malraj De Silva said,“Sri Lanka is proud to be part of Expo 2020 Dubai. We have united best of Sri Lanka at the Expo Pavilion and we have three messages for the world. First being our investment opportunities in Tourism, Port City and other areas, second being our World Class Tea, Gems and Spices. Third is Tourism, inviting the world to visit us and to enjoy a world class offering. See you all at the Sri Lankan Pavilion”.
Mrs. Kimarli Fernando, Chairperson, Sri Lanka Tourism
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