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Expo 2020 Dubai: UAE visitor gets 160 pavilion stamps on kandura

His expo voyage has been no ordinary feat. It was the result of an interesting promise made by his siblings.



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by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Sun 27 Feb 2022, 11:13 AM

Dubai visitor Faraz Siddiqui has started feeling low…the reason?…the curtains will soon come down on the grand Expo 2020 Dubai.

Twenty-year-old Faraz who is on a visit visa in UAE completed visiting over 160 pavilions of the Expo in five days, with pavilion stamps all over his kandura that he had bought here in the UAE.

His expo voyage has been no ordinary feat. It is the result of an interesting promise made by his siblings.

“Being the youngest in the family, I have always envied my elder brother and sisters for travelling to different countries. So, two years ago, they promised me that if I scored well in my class 12 board exams, they would sponsor my trip to Europe to meet my uncles. But then, unfortunately the Covid-19 pandemic happened. Exams were cancelled and my Europe trip remained unfulfilled. Besides, even if they wanted to send me, they were unable to do so because of the travel ban,” says the BBA student of Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies, Bangalore (India), who has been attending his online classes from Dubai.

But when the situation started improving, Faraz’s siblings asked him to travel to Dubai instead.

“They said come to Dubai and travel to Europe. I was excited, but they were just pulling my leg and amused me by suggesting that not just Europe, travel the world… at Expo 2020! What was meant to be a joke -- clicked with me -- and then I thought why don’t I see the world through Expo 2020. When the doors to the world were closed for travellers, Dubai and Expo opened these windows to explore the world,” adds the young adult.

Faraz who loves the traditional dress of the UAE, had in the past bought a few kanduras and carried them home.

'No passport, took my kandura for stamps'

“I didn’t have the Expo passport, so decided to take my kandura instead. I thought let’s get the various countries’ stamps on the traditional dress of the UAE. This would be memorable and signify how Dubai gave me a peek into the rest of the world.

“People met me, took pictures with me, appreciated my idea and some even said that they would try and do the same too. It really felt good when people would want to take photos with me. They would also tag me in their pictures on Instagram,” added Faraz.

Faraz, who sometimes visited the Expo with his family, and at other times alone would patiently wait for over an hour in the queues at the pavilions, making sure that he absorbed the myriad colours of the world while getting his Expo stamp on his kandura.

He adds, “but getting all the stamps at once was not possible. Until now, I have been to the Expo five times and walked a lot to get my kandura stamped.

On how he plans to preserve his stamped kandura, Faraz said that he is going to pack it properly to preserve the stamps for as long as he can.

"Until now, I have visited around 160 pavilions and got the stamps from each one and I look forward to visiting the ones left during my upcoming visits.”

When asked which are the must-see pavilions for those who still haven’t visited the world fair that ends at the end of March, Faraz points out, “according to me the UAE, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, and Alif pavilion in the Mobility District are a must visit. They were unique. I found all of them fascinating. But if you have limited days then these pavilions are a must see.”

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Enjoying not just the pavilions, Faraz reiterates that he also relished food from all corners of the globe. Sharing his experience on the varied culinary delights that he savoured at the Expo 2020, the Indian expat opines he tried out different types of food from the popular Saudi Arabian joint like Al Baik that had serpentine queues -- to Pakistani curry delicacies at the Ravi restaurant.

Summing up his Expo 2020 Dubai experience, Faraz said: “Going to the Expo means seeing the world under one roof. I thoroughly enjoyed tasting different types of food among the many unique culinary delights and snacks as well as and fancy chilled drinks. There is loads to explore for every palette.”


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