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Palms top Saudi Pavilion

SAUDI Arabia plans something a little different for its 2010 Shanghai World Expo pavilion.

It will plant 150 date palms, which are common in the desert country, on the roof of its pavilion.

The trees have been transplanted to Zhejiang Province and will be replanted on the roof of the Saudi Pavilion when construction is finished.

So far 200 million yuan (US$29.3 million) has been spent on the pavilion, which is now 20 percent complete.

It may end up being the most expensive pavilion at the Expo as the Middle-East country said it has no budget limit, according to Mohammed Alisssan Al-Ghamdi, executive director of the Saudi commission for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

The pavilion is due for completion by the Chinese New Year, which falls on February 14 next year.

The pavilion is a combined effort of Chinese and Saudi designers. It has a "moon boat" shape and is surrounded by deserts and seas, just like Saudi Arabia.

The main attraction will be huge - a 1,600-square-meter cinema screen - the largest in the world.


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