Qatar's seafaring tradition to be shown in Korea

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Qatar will showcase its centuries-old seafaring tradition and its resolve to protect its maritime environment amid progress through its national pavilion at the three-month long Expo 2012 in Yeosu, South Korea under the theme ‘The Living Ocean and the Coast’ to open on May 12. Together with the Olympics and the World Cup, World Expo is one of the three pillars of global events held with a specific theme in order to highlight the achievements of humankind and its future prospects.

Held every two years, with the last one being held in 2010 in Shanghai, China, this event is equivalent to the economic and cultural Olympics, and contributes to human prosperity by presenting solutions and future visions related to global issues.

Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea will see 105 countries, 10 international organisations, 76 pavilions and around eight million visitors taking part in the Expo.

“This event goes in line with the interest of Qatar in protecting its maritime environment. It is part of Qatari constitution to protect its environment to make it sustainable for future generations,” explained Ismail Omar Al Daffa, Vice-Chairman-Qatar Supervising Committee for Participation in Expo Yeosu 2012, at a press conference held yesterday at the Qatar National Convention Centre.

The press conference also saw the launch of Qatar Pavilion’s website which can be accessed by visitors at and is available in Arabic, English and Korean languages.

Stressing the significant presence of Qatar at the Expo Yeosu, South Korean Ambassador Chung Kee Long, said: “The theme of this expo is very much related to Qatar National Vision 2030, and both calls for sustaining economic prosperity through the sustainable use of natural resources. Through this expo, I hope the two countries can further cooperate meeting these common goals.”

He said Qatar and South Korea have a long standing relationship especially in economy and energy and “I hope many Qataris will visit the expo site and use the opportunity to experience warm Korean hospitality and beautiful scenery of the southern cost of Korea. This can help in further increasing the mutual understanding of cultures of the two countries.”

Divided into four sections, the Qatari pavilion will showcase the close affinity of Qataris to the sea from the past till the present being surrounded by water which has provided them seafood, pearls, and more recently, hydrocarbons. These will all be presented through an exhibition, videos and performances.

Recurrent at the entire exhibition space is the ‘wzar’ — a traditional fabric worn by Qatari fishermen and pearl divers — which serves as the logo of the pavilion.

“It symbolises the interweaving of old and new, keeping up old traditions and identity amid development,” said Mona Sulaiti, Manager of Qatari Pavilion at Expo Yeosu 2012.

The first batch of the Qatari delegation already left yesterday while the rest will be leaving today, said Al Daffa.

Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea has three sub-themes: “Coastal Development and Preservation,” which explores the relationship between development and conservation; “Creative Maritime Activities,” which highlights cultural and social values related to the ocean; and “New Resources Technology,” which showcases new technologies that are of growing importance for the survival of humanity.

The Expo has four landmark thematic facilities which will remain at the site permanently as the legacy of Yeosu Expo. They include the The Big-O, the Expo Digital Gallery (EDG), the Sky Tower and the Aquarium.

Throughout the 93 days from May 12 to August 12, Yeosu Expo presents about 400 programs and an array of over 8,000 events and performances day and night.
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