Dubai Expo 2020 themed “Connecting Mind and Creating The Future” kick-started on October 1, 2021 and will continue till March 31, 2022, providing each participating country a platform for 189 days to exhibit its unique culture and potential.
Pakistan’s pavilion, ‘The Hidden Treasure’, has lined up many cultural, informative, business and entertainment events to showcase the immense potential and opportunities both in tourism and other economic sectors, thus playing a vital role in shaping a new era for Pakistan’s tourism, culture, and investment.
Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA) is one of the entities that are representing Pakistan at Dubai Expo 2020. The authority is dedicated to develop Pakistan’s first master-planned city after six decades. Based on futuristic planning and brimmed with all the modern-day facilities, the city possesses an immense socio-economic potential. Therefore, at Dubai Expo, RUDA will not only help bring investment to Pakistan but will also reflect the future course of the country.
RUDA aims at improving financial ecosystem of the country. Ravi Riverfront City has a lot of potential projects to offer to the investors, including IT parks, Technology City, and a Knowledge Park spanning over 260 acres and comprising world-class universities and research centers. Moreover, it will have renewable energy parks, a Medical City with 2,000 acres of dedicated area for preventive medicine, medical research centers and state-of-the-art hospital.
These self-sustaining projects provide a secure economic climate for investment in different sectors, including knowledge economy, information technology, health, sports, environment and tourism. The aim is to gather local and international sectors under one roof and promote industrial technology and businesses to the benefit of local and global markets. Presenting those countless opportunities to the investors and business communities at an international forum like Dubai Expo 2020, RUDA will attract the investors from across the world.
Several MoUs will be signed with investors, which will spur investment inflow, generate business activity, create employment opportunities and boost economy of Pakistan. RUDA holds the potential to give a boost to the tourism sector of the country. Pakistan is a prospective tourist hub as declared by Forbes magazine, Conde Nast, Lonely Planet, UNESCO and British Backpackers Society, and Dubai Expo 2020 has given a platform to showcase breathtaking beauty of Pakistan.
RUDA is an exhibit of how keen Pakistan is about developing and adding to tourist resorts. World’s largest riverfront city, spread over 46 km, with an amazing mixture of natural and semi-natural resorts, including theme parks, botanical gardens, algae parks, butterfly parks, bird sanctuaries and wetland in eco parks will add further to Pakistan’s tourist attraction. Moreover, it will also showcase Pakistan’s prime and most sought-after spot of the future, ‘Tourism and Entertainment City’ that is being developed at Ravi Urban City with the aim to preserve the cultural heritage of Lahore.
With the blend of urban activities, this cultural city will help flourish tourism industry and ecotourism as it is built around historic fishermen villages, allowing for cultural activities along the riverbanks.
Besides ecotourism, RUDA will also boost sports tourism in Pakistan at Dubai Expo 2020. Dedicated sports city constituting stadia, arenas, athlete’s village, equestrians, golf-themed residential development motorsports facilities, including an F1 circuit, and international sport centers will become an ultimate destination for world-class sports events.
At Dubai Expo, RUDA will also become a prism through which the world can behold the course of rapid yet eco-friendly and sustainable development that Pakistan has adopted. Pakistan’s futuristic vision has also been endorsed by World Bank’s lending data for 2021, which showed 44% (highest in the world) of the country’s development funding was directed to environment-friendly projects.
RUDA is also one of those flagship projects in which development is being made to heal nature instead of destroying it. Aiming at protecting the environment of Lahore and its suburbs, RUDA has become vitally important for the sustainability of rapidly urbanizing Lahore city. Under RUDA, a comprehensive plan has been mapped out to revive River Ravi and waterbed of Lahore that has dropped down and dried up to a dangerous extent.
Construction of three barrages to stimulate conservation of water resources as well as afforestation will rejuvenate the groundwater level of Lahore and help nature heave a sigh of relief. It is interesting to note how different afforestation and regeneration efforts are being made to restore Lahore’s green cover. While on one hand, new trees are being planted, on the other, instead of axing down the existing trees, they are being relocated to other places. Restoration and expansion of Rakh Jhok forest – first smart forest in Pakistan – is another phenomenal project under the umbrella of RUDA. Smart sensor monitoring will be put into action to protect 10 million plants of over 5,000 different compatible flora, which will be planted across 3,071 acres. The project will play a role in reversing the loss of biodiversity and will become a home to 13 different kinds of migratory birds.
Moreover, Urban Farming has been made a major part of Ravi Urban City’s master planning. Progressive agricultural techniques will be implemented to introduce a new trend of farming and agriculture in the urbanized environment. Greenhouse farming and vertical farming will become exemplary projects meant to cater the needs of growing population in an urban setup. The concept is novel in the country and set to become one of the biggest highlights of this project.
Simply put, Dubai Expo 2020 is a unique opportunity to grasp, and RUDA, under the theme ‘Future is Pakistan’, is all motivated to exploit the platform for the betterment of the country. By projecting the promising yet sustainable socio-economic prospects that country holds, RUDA will augment investor confidence and improve the overall financial milieu of Pakistan in general, and in particular, Lahore.