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March 14, 2011

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Popular Saudi pavilion set for April reopening

THE Saudi Arabia Pavilion, one of the most popular attractions at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, will reopen to the public as early as next month.

The redesign of the 57,000-square-meter space including the pavilion and nearby catering and leisure facilities in the Pudong New Area has been finished, said Lin Xuanquan, the Pudong site's chief public space architect.

The Saudi Arabia Pavilion, which will retain its original look and presentations, is in the area enclosed by Shangnan Road, Puming Road, Gaoke Road W. and Bocheng Road.

The nearby India Pavilion had been converted into a restaurant and the Nepal Pavilion will reopen as a shopping mall. Where the Taiwan Pavilion stood will become a parking lot.

The entrance and passenger walkway and bus lanes in the area have been redesigned.

People will queue in Asia Square instead of Bocheng Road.

Circus acts and other performances will entertain visitors.

One local woman excited about the reopening of the Saudi Arabia Pavilion was Lu Zengde. "I will visit the Saudi Arabic Pavilion surely and certainly," she said.

A frequent visitor to last year's Expo, she had never been inside the pavilion because of the long queues every time she tried.

Tens of thousands of people waited up to nine hours to visit the pavilion and the queue was about 4,000 meters long at times during the six-month event.

With a reported budget exceeding 1 billion yuan (US$152 million), it was the most expensive foreign pavilion at Expo.

Pavilions presented to China by France, Spain, Italy and Russia are to have their contents enhanced with additional cultural and technical elements before reopening.


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