Dubai: There is nothing but all round optimism in Dubai on the emirate’s chances of winning the bid for the Expo 2020. Echoing this positivity was Laila Suhail, CEO of Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment.
“We are hopeful that Dubai would win the bid. We feel that Dubai has all the requirements to achieve this bid, especially because it is known for being a peaceful and secure cosmopolitan city and it also enjoys state of the art infrastructure. “Furthermore, Dubai has built its reputation as a hub for world class events and festivals, with a proven track record of successes in hosting all kinds of events. This is why the International Festivals & Events Association awarded Dubai the ‘World Festival and Event City’ award for two successive years (2011 and 2012). Dubai has also been nominated for a third award this year. I am sure that these factors will play a crucial role when deciding on the bid.”
Dubai is second to none when it comes to organising and hosting events and Laila spearheads this sector. She said, “Through our 18 years of experience in organising world class festivals and events, we, at Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment, believe that the Expo 2020 will impact each and every sector in the emirates. Overall, however, the benefits will be felt by the hospitality and retail sectors.
“If Dubai wins the bid the benefits and impact will reach all the other emirates and cross the borders into neighbouring countries. This will contribute significantly in boosting the tourism and hospitality sectors across the GCC main cities due to its proximity to Dubai.”
Being an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, the Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment adds value due to its vast experience in organising mega events and world class festivals and its activation of the retail sector in general. The accumulated experiences in the past 18 years puts it at the forefront of the festivals and events industry in the region. In addition to their close ties with the main retailers where they opt for creating new and innovative retail promotions during the event.
“To be chosen as hosts would be an honour and privilege for UAE citizens,” said Laila. “It will be a historic year for all of us as it will coincide with the golden jubilee of UAE National Day celebrations. However, I would like to stress one most important fact: the country is showing signs of a robust economy. It will keep prospering irrespective of our winning the bid or not. This is due to the foresight and strategy displayed by the leadership. Plans were put in place well before our bid to achieve sustainable development.