Expo 2020 Dubai: Student visits 188 country pavilions in just 9 hours

She has converted her sketches of pavilions into a digital asset (NFTs).


Saman Haziq

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Published: Wed 10 Nov 2021, 11:35 AM

Last updated: Wed 10 Nov 2021, 4:23 PM

A 25-year-old interior design and architecture student has managed to visit a total of 188 country pavilions at the Expo 2020 Dubai in just eight and a half hours.

The Dubai-based student, Mili Parmar, bought five Expo 2020 passports and got them all stamped from the 188 pavilions she visited.

Apart from getting the stamps at the 188 country pavilions, which she managed to achieve with the help of a friend who accompanied her, Parmar also sketched the façade of all the 192 country pavilions in the stamped passports.

The young woman came to Dubai in 2019 to pursue her Masters in architecture.

“I am an architecture and design student and I was so amazed at seeing so many architectural marvels in one place at Expo 2020 Dubai that I decided to sketch them all in my Expo passports with their country stamps. I had to take a total of five Expo passports in order to accommodate the stamps of 188 countries. The stamping of the passports got done in just over eight hours on November 7. A friend of mine joined me later in the day to help me get stamps of some countries as I was getting too exhausted walking to different pavilions,” Mili told Khaleej Times.

Expo passport artworks converted to NFT

Being an art student, Mili said she wanted to do something creative for the country’s biggest event, so she has collaborated with her friend, Jigar, who has converted her passports with their art works into a digital asset by making a ‘Non Fungible Token (NFT) art, which is unique digital assets built on blockchain technology.


“NFTs are based on cryptographic technology that does not allow duplication to happen. So when my friend Jigar, who runs a company that is a blockchain solution provider called 'dappchain', suggested that I convert it into a unique digital asset, I happily agreed. And this has also become the first NFT art of the Expo 2020 Dubai passports,” Mili explained.

Recording her achievement

The university student said that while she completed visiting pavilions of almost all countries in a day, the sketching took some time, so she gave her self 30 hours to finish the sketching of the pavilion facades, some of which she drew while at the Expo site and the rest at home. She used her pictures of the facades as reference for the sketches.

To record the time and date of her achievement, Mili said she used a phone app to record her steps that day and most of her stamps in the Expo passport have the date on them.


“All in all, I managed to complete getting stamps of 188 countries and sketching 192 pavilion facades in 35 hours. I started this feat on November 7 and ended it by late night on November 8, just in time for my university convocation on November 11.

Mili said she missed getting stamps from pavilions of four countries as some of them had not got the stamp seals in place when she visited while she wasn't allowed entry to some due to ongoing official events.

When asked about her favourite pavilions, Mili said: “My favourite is the UAE pavilion as it beautifully captures the country’s journey from being a desert to becoming a rapidly growing tourist hub in the world,” adding that her other favourites were Russia, Australia and the US.


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