A Korea fanatic, Rohda posing with a life size cutout of BTS’ Suga.
A global audience has been charmed by almost everything produced in South Korea, including K-Pop, K-Wellness, and K-Drama. South Korea appeared to have everything, from entertainment, skincare to tourism, not to mention the Bangtan Boys or BTS, one of whose members, Jungkook, gave a live performance here in Qatar for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 opening ceremony.
Fans of Korea will get a taste of what the country has to offer, thanks to the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), which has built up a 100 square metre pavilion in Souq Waqif Park.
A view of the Korea Tourism Organization pavilion along the Corniche.
At the Travel to Korea, Cheer Together pavilion, you can try on a Hanbok, a traditional ethnic Korean garment, get your skin’s age determined, show off your best skills on the Pump It Up Dance Machine, create your own Korean crafts, or strike the perfect selfie at the photo booth.
The East Asian country was renowned for technology breakthroughs in automobiles and cellphones before becoming a cultural powerhouse. According to Hyunsun Hong, Regional Director of KTO Dubai Office, their pavilion is one of the World Cup’s “Corniche activations.”
Hong walked us through their pavilion and said: “We have a BTS photo booth where you can take photos with life size cutouts of BTS members Suga and Jimin, designated global ambassadors of KTO, we have an information booth; K-wellness zone where you can check your skin type and we’ll provided a customised mask pack and a free lipstick if you subscribe to our medical wellness YouTube page.”
“There will be some Korean traditional craft zone, a game zone, a Korean style sticker and photo taking booth.”
Korean fans can also join in the celebration today as the KTO has lined-up a special event as the South Korea National Football Team or the Taegeuk Warriors will play against Uruguay, at 40,000 capacity Education City Stadium. Among the performers at the said event are from Black Dot, a taekwondo and calligraphy performing art band, and Korean pop idol Sema.
The event will take place from 9.30pm to 10.30pm, according to Hong. Sema will perform the Korea World Cup cheer and their own songs. She also disclosed that a number of officials, including H E Joon-ho Lee, South Korea Ambassador to Qatar, will be present. Performances of Black Dot and Sema will continue through tomorrow, November 24.
Black Dot while performing taekwondo.
Since the pavilion opened on November 20, the first day of the World Cup, Hong claimed that they have been getting a lot of visitors from all over the world, not just GCC citizens. She said she was shocked to see plenty of people, especially after 5pm. “I enjoyed the crowd. It’s a very surprising experience.”
Rohda, who is a big fan of Korean dramas and K-Pop idols said she was astonished with the KTO pavilion, although she had visited South Korea before, she look forward to coming back again and again. “Korea has this cultural magnet that draws you in and makes you want to learn more about it. I tell you, it’s entertaining, uplifting, and motivational.
And a message to all locals and visiting football fans, Hong said: “Korea has various attraction points like Hallyu, K-Pop, K-wellness, for the fans, I would like to promote that we have lots of attractions, just come to Korea for travel, and experience it first-hand. Welcome to Korea, come to Korea.”