Dubai will be competing against four candidate cities bidding to host the Expo 2020 – Sao Paulo in Brazil, Izmir in Turkey, Yekaterinburg in Russia and Ayutthaya in Thailand. The winner will be announced in November 2013 following a vote by the 163 member nations of the Bureau International des Expositions, the international organisation responsible for selecting World Expo host cities.
What is The World Expo?
The first ever World Expo Event was first held in London in 1851. Since then the nature and characteristic of World Expos have evolved over the years. They can be divided into 3 eras: The era of Industrialization, the era of cultural exchange and the era of national branding. The World Expo takes place every five years for a period of six month and is considered the third largest event in the World after Olympics and the Soccer World Cup. The next World’s fair will be Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy. Dubai is competing for the Expo 2020 along with other competitors for the bid. Incidentally, the World Expo has never been held in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia in the history of the event.
The key points of discourse between nations during the World Expo are:
- Innovations and progress on issues of international importance such as the global economy
- Sustainable development and improved quality of life for the world’s population
- Economic, cultural and social transformation through networking and dialogue
- Creating Important legacies for the host city and nation transforming its economic & cultural landscape
The Economics of Dubai’s bid for World Expo 2020: & The Master Plan
A recent research report by Oxford Economics has concluded that Dubai’s bid for the World Expo 2020 would create 277,149 jobs between 2013 – 2021, 40% of which would be within the travel and tourism sector.
The report estimates that 90% of the projected 277,149 employment opportunities would occur from 2018 to 2021 with the ramp up to Expo 2020 and the demand generated by the 25 million expected visitors. Out of the 90%, 147,000 jobs would be created in the travel and tourism sector, indicating the significant potential to convert a high percentage into permanent jobs to serve the expanded economy in the post-Expo period.
Importantly, the report demonstrates the positive impact for the wider region showing that for every Expo employee approximately 60 additional jobs will be sustained across other parts of the MENA economy.
Commenting on the recent findings, Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and Managing Director of the UAE’s Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, said: “Dubai Expo 2020 will leave a lasting legacy not only in the UAE but also beyond its borders. As our theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ suggests, Dubai Expo 2020 aims to welcome the world to collaborate and build partnerships for sustainable development. In that, Dubai Expo 2020 will spur significant employment, trade and investment opportunities for the entire MENASA region, leaving lasting economic impact.”
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Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and CEO of the Dubai World Trade Centre said: “Tourism is a vital pillar of Dubai’s economy and has contributed to the city’s economic growth, success and diversification. With the strength of Dubai’s infrastructure, geographic location and global connectivity, Dubai Expo 2020 can expect to attract 25 million visitors during the six months between October 2020 and April 2021, 71% of which would originate from outside the host nation for the first time in Expo history. This is important because the additional demand created by World Expo would provide real and exciting opportunities in employment, new attractions and incentives for the travel and tourism sector, not just for the UAE but for neighbouring countries in the region and beyond.”
According to Howaida Rabee, marketing manager of Falcon, the firm in charge of the bid, said that hosting the event would createa huge job market with 275,000 jobs in Dubai over the next eight years, attracting more than 25 million unique visitors and 33 million visits. She predicted that out of this, 70% of visitors would be international, making it the first Expo to attract a foreign majority.
Infrastructure plans for the Expo includes the creation of a new convention center at the proposed site at Jebel Ali with transport and hospitality ventures. The 438 hectare site will remain the site of the convention centre, a museum and a university after the event has finished.Dubai’s submission proposed to hold the event from October 2020 until April 2021 making it the first time the event would be held over two years,considering that Dubai will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2021, Ms.Rabee said.
Connecting Minds,Creating the Future:
The theme for the bid “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” clearly reflects UAE’s commitment to a shared purpose of renewed vision and progress in an interconnected world. It is with constant collaboration and interaction that true human development can be attained. It will be the first to be held in the MENASA region. The World has become increasing complex with cultural and ideological conflicts, it has become even more incumbent on societies to inter link thoughts and ideas. Dubai Expo aspires to be that platform of connectivity to help pioneer partnerships for creating a sustainable future.
As Ali says in this video, “UAE is a place where the East meets West”. What can be a better reason than that? Here’s Ali’s Story-An incredible video on why Dubai is the ideal city for hosting the 2020 World Expo:
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