Panama celebrated its Expo 2020 national day earlier, with an action-packed programme of cultural events.
Several music stars from the country took part, with Panama becoming the first Latin American country to celebrate at the first World Expo in the Arab world.
Najeeb Mohammed Al Ali, executive director of the Commissioner General Office at Expo 2020 Dubai welcomed a delegation from Panama led by Ramón E Martínez de la Guardia, minister of commerce and industries.
After a flag-raising ceremony in Al Wasl Plaza, followed by a dazzling cultural display, the delegation moved to the Panama Pavilion for its official inauguration, marked with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Finally, a parade unleashed a colourful celebration replete with folkloric dances, music and more.
Mohammed Al Ali said: “We know the Panama Canal as one of the wonders of the modern world, a unique marvel – a man-made waterway connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans that has put Panama on a key route for international maritime trade.
“As a regional trade and logistics hub, Panama is an ideal gateway for UAE companies to access the new growth opportunities that are emerging across Latin America.
“Through Expo 2020 Dubai, we hope to build on existing partnerships between our two countries.
“At Expo 2020, Panama has invited us to explore its history, culture, art, and gastronomy along with the many competitive advantages that it has to offer as a gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean.”
Latin Grammy-winning rock band Los Rabanes, Latin American Idol winner Margarita Henríquez and jazz vocalist Idania Dowman then took to Al Wasl Stage for a rousing showcase of Panamanian music.
Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre also hosted the folkloric ballet group, Panamá Danzas Hoy.
la Guardia said: “Panama, being a point of convergence and progress, is glad to be present and looks forward to the next six months of this Expo.”
The Panama Canal has long been a catalyst of change, and the Panama Pavilion, located in Jubilee, gives visitors a chance to travel virtually through this important and strategic waterway.