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The impact of Expo 2020 on the UAE economy

If the forecasts by international analysts hold true, EXPO 2020, Dubai will attract a massive 25 million additional new visitors to the United Arab Emirates. That in itself is a good indicator of the massive potential EXPO 2020 has to bring about a huge economic impact and for providing stimulus for further development and strengthening of the economy of the Emirate and the country in general.

Dubai 2020 offers historical significance to the emirate and the UAE as a whole. The six-month expo is the first large-scale international event to be hosted in the Gulf Coast region and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. No previous international event holds as much magnitude as the World Expo.

Since winning the right to host the next world expo, Dubai has made considerable investments throughout the land. These investments have injected a new business growth cycle for Dubai. The six-month expo has already started accelerating big infrastructure projects.

Many private and public sectors have fast-tracked ongoing redevelopment and expansion projects ahead of this high-caliber exhibition. The effects on tourist infrastructure is already visible with new Hotel projects in their final stages of completion to accommodate the huge influx of new tourists. The hospitality industry will be one of the major sectors for job creation as a direct result of the Expo.

Another sector that is expected to see a big impetus is the vibrant Real Estate Sector. This sector is set to see interest from new buyers who have come to the UAE to visit the Expo. The overall socio-political stability offered by the UAE combined with the world class modern infrastructure and a vibrant multi-cultural society is sure to appeal to the senses of a lot of buyers looking to invest in real estate that offers some of the best investment opportunities in terms of value, appreciation and quality.

Dubai authorities have reported that by 2020 transport infrastructure will shift to an absolutely new level. It is reported that all the motorways heading to the exhibition will be improved with new overpasses and interchanges, a new metro line will be put into operation; it is also planned to buy eco-friendly taxis and buses. According to experts, all the elements of the city’s transport network will effectively interact and constitute a single system.

It’s well known that such international event can give a powerful push to development of the region where they it is held. The exhibition may have a significant impact on many economic sectors of the Emirates. Domestic labor market is expected to have central changes and rapid growth. Interest of foreign entrepreneurs has markedly increased to the venue of the exhibition, which will consequently increase inflow of investment capital.

Such a large-scale international event will also require a network of volunteers. Dubai 2020 is expected to launch close to 30,000 volunteering opportunities over 45 volunteering roles to facilitate a successful event. These opportunities are a boon for young graduates looking for a way to gain experience during one of the world’s largest events.

EXPO 2020 in Dubai will become a new stage in the development of international relations. New doors to the markets of many countries will open. First of all, effective trading channels to the markets of Asia and Africa will be established, which will enable to increase volume of re-export and export.

One only needs to look at Expo 2010, hosted by Shanghai, to understand the impact a world expo can have on the host city’s business landscape. Declared a great success, Shanghai Expo 2010 attracted over 70 million visitors. It also transformed the city, providing an infrastructure boom and fueling the city’s tourism and hospitality sectors. As a Bloomberg report highlighted, across its long-lasting legacy, Shanghai Expo 2010 generated more than 80 billion yuan ($13 billion) for Shanghai and its neighbouring cities in business.

Dubai Expo 2020 is expected to be a catalyst for economic change in Dubai. In a statement from the Expo 2020 Executive Body, Dubai 2020 is estimated to raise the overall GDP of the country, yielding AED89 billion ($24.2 billion) through various economic activities in numerous sectors.

The key beneficiaries of Dubai 2020 include foreign investment opportunities, economic diversification, job creation, tourism and hospitality, real estate and major attractions (both present and emerging). In foreign investment opportunities alone, the attraction of a world expo is expected to bring in between $100 to $150 billion in Dubai and across the UAE.

While long-term gains are yet to be determined, history has been kind to host nations of previous world expos. Indeed, economic change can already be seen throughout Dubai as infrastructure projects flourish and business demand experiences positive growth.

The gravitas of a world expo is making Dubai increasingly attractive once again to foreign investors and sustainable business development. New economic prospects brought on by Dubai 2020 are occurring across numerous sectors and industries in Dubai and the ripple effect is being felt all across the UAE.

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