Meet the Expo enthusiasts who visited all 192 pavilions in just a few days

Amine Zaanoun walked nearly 40km in two days in his quest to explore Expo 2020 Dubai

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A fitness enthusiast living in Abu Dhabi and a 16-year-old boy have visited all 192 country pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai in a matter of days.

Fazil Ummer, 16, managed to make it to every country pavilion on the site in 72 hours.

He visited 80 pavilions on the first day, 50 on day two and the remaining 62 on his third visit.

Fazil, who was born in Saudi Arabia, arrived in Dubai with his family but knew he wanted to undertake this challenge alone.

He said the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Germany pavilions were his favourites.

Another power-walking Expo fan is Amine Zaanoun, from Morocco, who set himself the task of visiting the pavilions as fast as he could, combining the feat with the Dubai Fitness Challenge.

Quote
The experience, challenging myself, was amazing. The main thing I learned through this experience was meeting new people
Amine Zaanoun

The programme encourages people in the UAE to do 30 minutes of exercise for 30 days. It started on October 29.

By the end of the first day of his challenge, Mr Zaanoun had walked about 20 kilometres and completed more than 27,000 steps. On day two, he walked about 19.5km.

Mr Zaanoun said he wanted to encourage people from around the world to visit the site and get fit.

"Since Expo is being held in Dubai, I, as a proud Arab, wanted to represent all Arabs by promoting this challenge," he said.

"At the same time, I want to encourage anyone who is overweight to exercise, as well as encourage people in general to visit Expo."

Before his visit, Mr Zaanoun carefully planned his adventure.

He made sure to arrive at the Expo site early in the morning, and he researched which pavilions were the most crowded and made sure to visit them before peak hours.

He also visited the pavilions district by district, strategically visiting one after the other.

Mr Zaanoun, 31, said taking on the challenge gave him the opportunity to learn about countries from all over the world and experience new cultures – something he always wanted to do.

“The experience, challenging myself, was amazing. I want to thank Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid for this initiative," he said.

"The main thing I learnt through this experience was meeting new people. I also learnt about new countries, their traditions, their different discoveries, the technology they each have."

As one of the few people in the world who has managed to visit every pavilion, he has a unique insight into which one visitors should prioritise.

“My favourite pavilion was the UAE Pavilion, of course. I also liked the Germany pavilion and the technology presented there," he said.

"Croatia also has a good pavilion – they have an electric car. There are also some islands that I have never heard of.”

Meet the Expo super fan

Updated: November 11th 2021, 10:28 AM
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