Related News

Home » Metro

Saudi boss manages from afar

ABDULRAHMAN al-Shaikh, the top official of the Saudi Arabia Pavilion, can watch everything taking place at the pavilion even when he's not there.

In his office in Saudi Arabia, he has a monitor linked to all cameras covering the pavilion in Shanghai. On the screen, he can watch what is happening in every corner of the pavilion and manage the pavilion.

"Every day, every minute, I can get everything about the pavilion, though I do not stay at the Expo all the time because of the busy work back home," said al-Shaikh, who is also Saudi Arabia's deputy minister of Town Planning.

The commissioner general of one of the most popular pavilions at the Expo, said he never expected it to be in such demand, especially among Chinese visitors, though he was sure it would be a success.

He said the happiest thing to him was that more Chinese people now know the culture, history and people of Saudi Arabia after visiting the pavilion, which was the country's main goal for participating in Expo Shanghai.

It was also what the centerpiece movie in the pavilion conveys to visitors, he added.

He was appointed by the Saudi Arabia King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to supervise the country's Expo participation.

He said the pavilion was a huge project and that he and his colleagues had worked hard for more than three years to make it into the current star attraction.

Fortunately, he said his work as deputy minister for Town Planning was rather in line with the theme of the Expo - Better City, Better Life.

"The two posts have the same goal, to make people's lives better," he said.

Despite the busy work at Saudi, he still keeps his eyes on the operation of the pavilion. Every day he will send three e-mails or make several calls to guide the work of pavilion operators in Shanghai.

Al-Shaikh said the original design was quite different from what they eventually chose for the Saudi pavilion.

The pavilion has amazed visitors with a 15-minute film about the country on a 360-degree, 1,600-square-meter screen, said to be the world's largest theater.

Originally they were going to build the pavilion in the shape of a moon boat from Arabian tales. But the three-level design was rejected because they worried that visitors would be forced to stay for too long and would have less time to visit other pavilions.

They then came up with the idea to make the whole pavilion into a theater. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend