After dropping a hefty sum (USD 29.3 million) on their eye-catching contribution to Shanghai Expo, it’s no surprise the doors didn’t stay closed on the Saudi Arabia Pavilion.
Now reopened as the Moon Boat (Yuèliang Chuán, 月亮船), the pavilion can be visited without having to fight the epic Expo queues. A spiral walkway—lined with flatscreen TVs displaying glimpses of Saudi Arabian cities—leads upward towards a unique theater and rooftop garden.
On a slow moving walkway, visitors are guided past a long screen displaying Saudi Arabians, their cities and messages in Arabic and Chinese before entering a second, larger theater. The second theater boasts an elevated walkway that traverses the room, and below the walkway images are projected onto the massive, curving floor.
After the theater, the spiral walkway leads to the building’s rooftop for panoramic views of the Huangpu River and a glimpse of the Pudong skyline among imported date palms.
Along with the China Pavilion, the Moon Boat is one of the few Shanghai Expo pavilions to survive the closing of the 2010 Expo. Many of the exhibits from closed and demolished pavilions can now be found in the Commemoration Exhibition of Expo 2010 Shanghai.
A special ticket price is available for the disabled, the elderly (over 60) and children.