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Expo 2020 Dubai unveils nine-metre-tall giants to honour Arab explorers

Visitors to the futuristic Alif – the Mobility Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai are to be dwarfed by nine-metre-tall, photo-realistic figures from the Golden Age of Arab civilisation, including ancient navigator Ahmad Ibn Majid and celebrated explorer Ibn Battuta.

Ahmad Ibn Majid, a great Muslim navigator, born in the 15th century in Julfar (present-day Ras Al Khaimah), and nicknamed ‘The Lion of the Sea’, wrote many works of literature on marine science and the movement of ships in his lifetime – when Arab sailors were considered among the best in the world.

Ibn Battuta was a great medieval Muslim Moroccan traveller from the 14th century, who wrote a book about his adventures, ‘The Riḥla’ (‘The Travels’). This celebrated work details his explorations, covering some 75,000 miles (120,000km), visiting many Muslim countries, and as far as China and Sumatra (now part of Indonesia).

The Mobility Pavilion pays tribute to these giant Arab personalities through intricately-crafted tableaux, offering stories of the innovations that helped drive global mobility through the centuries.

By uncovering the stories of these historical Arab giants, visitors can explore the concept of mobility, its power and far-reaching influence, and discover the role of the region in advancing human exploration.

These giants are set to be one of the mega-attractions of Alif – the Mobility Pavilion, where visitors are taken on a voyage through time and space to discover how people, innovation, technology and data are interacting in increasingly complex ways.

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