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UAE to create a golden sand dune for Expo

CONSTRUCTION began today on the United Arab Emirates' pavilion for the Expo 2010 - a huge golden sand dune inspired by the country's desert.

The outer covering of the pavilion will be gold-colored stainless steel. Its undulating roof, looking as if it has been shaped by the wind, will make the pavilion shimmer and change colors, reminding visitors of the Middle East country's various natural environments. It will be illuminated at night.

The shape of the pavilion is also designed in response to Shanghai's weather. It will protect against the direct glare of the city's summer sun but allow indirect light to enter the pavilion via louvers.

It will be 20 meters high, and cover 6,000 square meters, the largest size available to Expo participants.

"One of the most powerful and appealing experiences for UAE people is to travel through our vast desert, and we want to share this experience with Chinese people by building the pavilion," said Salem Saeed Al Ameri, commissioner general of UAE's Expo participation.

The country will showcase the swift development of its modern cities. It will also present many of its environmental strategies and living experiences.

UAE has little water and extremely hot weather for about three months every year, but its people have learnt from their forefathers how to create shade and to naturally cool their homes, said Salem Saeed Al Ameri.

Visitors will approach the "dunes" by a walkway, which follows a stream of water towards the entrance.

In the pavilion, UAE people from all walks of life will meet visitors. They will talk about their daily lives and chat with the visitors, said Peter Vine, Expo team coordinator for the UAE.

He said the country planned to dismantle the pavilion and move it back to home after Expo. It will be turned into a cultural exhibition center, said Vine.

He said the pavilion would be another great structure for the country following the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel and the Burj Dubai Tower.

UAE officials declined to reveal the cost of the pavilion or the total budget of their Expo participation.

The UAE was awarded a gold medal for its pavilion at the Zaragoza Expo 2008.


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