Expo 2020 to transform Dubai’s economic landscape

Expectations of business community soars after historic win

  • By Babu Das Augustine, Deputy Business Editor
  • Published: 22:00 November 27, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Dubai is the first city in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region to host the World Expo, the highly celebrated international exhibition, the third largest global non-commercial event, following the Olympic Games and the Fifa World Cup.

In the near term the Expo win is widely expected to boost sentiment and confidence of the UAE’s economy. In the medium term, Dubai and the UAE would benefit from an estimated $6.9 billion (Dh25.3 billion) earmarked for infrastructure projects around the event. The centrepiece of development is a 438-hectare site at the southwestern end of Dubai next to the Dubai Word Central close to Jebel Ali port. Dubai’s construction market would benefit from the influx of new activity, but other sectors including travel, tourism and retail would also benefit.

Expos are widely expected to work as economic catalysts as they generate economic benefits for the host country in the form of increased tourism, job opportunities, and hospitality revenues. They also provide financial benefits, both during the run up to the event and after, in terms of large construction activity, and investments from outside the country, among others.

Redevelopment

According to a report from alternate investment firm Al Masah Capital, Expos have aided physical redevelopment of host nations and cities. Expo Montreal 1967, for instance, led to the construction of structures such as the Décarie Autoroute and the Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine Bridge and tunnel, which were essential to Montreal’s subsequent growth.

The 1988 Expo in Brisbane, Australia, witnessed the laying of nearly 2,000 kilometres of telecommunications wire. Expos have been useful for branding of the host country/city. For instance, the Eiffel Tower, one of the most recognisable structures in the world, was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World Expo in Paris, France.

Expectations are high in UAE too. Business leaders and senior executives from across various industry segments expressed their confidence in Expo 2020 transforming the economic land scape of UAE while bringing about far reaching economic prosperity.

Quotes

Ahmad Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC): Few can imagine the impact the Dubai of 2020 will have on the Expo and how it will connect people, their ideas and aspirations. DMCC would like to congratulate His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the people of the UAE for their inspirational campaign that has brought the Expo 2020 to the Emirate.

Ahmad Bin Byat, CEO, Dubai Holding: On behalf of Dubai Holding and its business verticals, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as well as everyone in the UAE, from Government to citizens and residents, on winning the bid to host Expo 2020. This win marks a new era of Dubai’s economic development and reflects the Emirate’s leading international position. Hosting the Expo 2020 is a clear testament to Dubai’s economic excellence and solid competitive fundamentals, which comprise modern infrastructure and advanced legislative systems attracting regional and international investments, in addition to the Emirate’s safe haven status and the social harmony enjoyed by its multicultural community. This win is not off-handed; on the contrary it is a result of the hard work and perseverance of the teams who have acted on the guidance of the country’s wise leadership to position Dubai as the chosen host for the exhibition. This is notably consistent with Shaikh Mohammad’s vision to establish Dubai as a leading international business and investment hub.

Abdullah Mohammad Saleh, Governor of the DIFC: We are a young nation, but thus far our accomplishments have superseded all expectations. Through the extraordinary vision of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai), we have developed into an economic force that deserves recognition and I believe hosting the Expo is a testament to that. We are certain that hosting the World Expo 2020 is a strong catalyst for the growth for the UAE economy and create tremendous opportunities on all levels, not only for the UAE, but also for the entire region. As a result of Dubai’s strategic positioning, it is seen as the gateway to anyone who wishes to do business in the region and beyond. Hosting the Expo 2020 will showcase that to the rest of the world. 

Abdul Fattah Sharaf, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, UAE: We would like to express our deepest congratulations to President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the people of the UAE, for Dubai’s win to host Expo 2020. With the UAE already benefitting from its significant investments and strategic location between the East and West on the world map, the opportunities this win will bring will further cement its position as a competitive global player. We look forward to working closely with the country’s businesses and people to make this a truly special and successful event. 

Shayne Nelson, Group CEO, Emirates NBD: Emirates NBD extends its warmest congratulations to the wise leadership of the UAE, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on winning the bid to host World Expo 2020 in Dubai. As a Premier Partner, we are honoured to have been closely associated with every aspect of the bidding process. The successful completion of the bidding process is only the first step in a long journey, which will culminate in giving a significant boost to positioning the UAE as a global business hub. Over the next few years in the run up to the Expo, we believe there will be a strong and positive impact on the country’s economy, which will witness considerable expansion across various sectors including infrastructure development, real estate, IT, telecom, retail, hospitality and tourism. More importantly, hosting the Expo in Dubai will create a huge ripple effect for the neighbouring economies of the GCC and Middle East, in terms of business expansion and economic growth. 

Jamal Bin Ghalaita, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Islamic: On behalf of Emirates Islamic, I would like to congratulate our wise leaders, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on winning the bid to host World Expo 2020 in Dubai. I would also like to congratulate the bid team on a job well done. With the right to host Expo 2020 in Dubai, the UAE achieves yet another milestone, which will further accelerate our growth. 

Mark Beer, Registrar of the DIFC Courts: I’ve never seen anything that has unified the UAE quite like the Expo 2020 bid. With the right to host one of the world’s largest events now secured, we are going to see huge impetus in construction, infrastructure spending, job creation and business growth. But that is for the future. Today should be about celebration and congratulating the bid team on a job well done. 

Dr Mohammad Al Zarouni, Vice-President and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority: Dubai’s win of the Expo 2020 bid is indeed a matter of great pride. Expo 2020, regardless of its scope and reach, will help showcase the best innovations and achievements of Dubai and the UAE on a world stage. Dubai’s free zones have a mandate similar to the Expo 2020 in promoting international trade, creating jobs and augmenting the economy with its varied financial and commercial contributions to the national GDP. As a free zone authority, we hope to attract foreign investors as well as offer endless opportunities for growth to both UAE nationals and expatriates in the run up to the mega-event. 

Mohammad Al Tuwaijri, Deputy Chairman and Regional Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Middle East and North Africa: This is a momentous day that captures the confidence, optimism and vision of Dubai and the UAE. Everyone is filled with great pride and looking forward to the infectious spirit of the Expo bringing people together over the next six years as we prepare for a spectacle that will inspire a generation and leave a lasting legacy for the future. 

Jonathan Morris, CEO, standard Chartered UAE: Expo 2020 will be an exceptional event that will position Dubai and the UAE for its next phase of economic growth and prosperity. Winning the bid is a result of the visionary leadership of the UAE and is another testament to Dubai’s strong position as a global city that is shaping the future of the world. 

Peter Baltussen, CEO, Commercial Bank of Dubai: On the glorious occasion of Dubai successfully bidding for the World Expo 2020, Commercial Bank of Dubai wishes to take this opportunity to congratulate the UAE’s leaders, its citizens, and residents for this significant achievement. Dubai is where the future is, and at CBD we never doubted the UAE’s ability to win the bid for hosting the World Expo 2020. Dubai’s World Expo 2020 theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” is a fitting tribute to the founding fathers of the UAE, who connected the seven emirates and paved the way for this glorious future. The winning bid for hosting the World Expo is even more sweet as it comes a few days before the nation celebrates its 42nd National Day, and the fact that the World Expo will be hosted in 2020, on the eve of the UAE’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations, adds to its allure for us. 

Hussain Al Qemzi, Group CEO of Noor Investment Group and CEO of Noor Islamic Bank: Time and again the UAE has been described as a global melting pot that is home to more than 200 nationalities. Today, with the landmark win of the Expo 2020 bid, the UAE has convincingly proved, yet again, what collective endeavour can achieve. Noor congratulates the nation’s leadership, citizens and residents for this historic achievement. As a key contributor to the UAE success story, Noor looks forward to welcoming the world to the UAE and doing all it can to ensure that Expo 2020 is a resounding success. 

Khaled Sifri, CEO of Emirates Investment Bank: The successful bid for the World Expo 2020 is a monumental milestone in Dubai’s success story and is a commendable achievement for the UAE. In recent years, the UAE hosted some of the world’s most prestigious events and the World Expo 2020 cements the continuation of this trend for the next decade and beyond. The Expo in 2020 will truly showcase Dubai as a modern and forward thinking city with strong cultural roots. The positive impact from the World Expo 2020 will be seen across the entire country with each Emirate benefitting from the heightened interest and influx of investors. As a direct result, new jobs are expected to be created which will benefit the population as well as the economy. Globally, confidence will increase, which will lead to an increase in trade and investment. 

Dr R. Seetharaman, Group CEO, Doha Bank: Cross-border collaborations and partnerships will stimulate bilateral trade and development between countries. It is necessary that connectivity should be developed between countries to facilitate cross border collaborations and partnerships. Dubai Expo 2020 will be an ideal platform for connectivity and would enable links between people, societies and ideas in various countries. The theme for Dubai Expo 2020 “Connecting minds, creating the future” is thought-provoking and the subthemes sustainability, mobility and opportunity will focus on global development. Dubai Expo 2020 will also provide a new source of solutions towards sustainable, prosperous and inclusive communities. 

Mohammad Al Shaya, Executive Chairman of MH Alshaya: Alshaya congratulates Dubai and the UAE on its successful host city bid for Expo 2020. As a vibrant member of the GCC, the UAE and Dubai have played a critical role in creating jobs and opportunities across Mena, not least in its support of the retail sector, for which it has rightly become world famous. We are confident that hosting Expo 2020 in Dubai will bring a positive economic impact not just for the UAE but for the entire region — an impact that translates into much-needed job opportunities for our next generation. 

Ameenah Al Rustamani, Group CEO of TECOM Investments: Winning Expo 2020 is a remarkable achievement for Dubai and the UAE. We must recognise the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in seeking to bring the World Expo to the Middle East for the very first time — and for foreseeing the benefits it will bring to the business community and the wider knowledge economy. His ambitions for the Emirate over recent years have ensured Dubai is more than capable of welcoming the world on such a huge scale. Hosting Expo 2020 will be a catalyst for the ongoing diversification and development of Dubai’s knowledge economy, and we are likely to see the benefits in three distinct phases. There will be an immediate shot in the arm in terms of economic confidence. This will be followed by the planned infrastructure and project investments taking shape over the next six years during the preparation stage, which will offer growth opportunities across a range of industries — from manufacturing and media to tourism and education. 

Saeb Eigner, Chairman of the DFSA: The DFSA congratulates the government and people of the UAE on the achievement to host this global event in the emirate of Dubai. The DFSA recognises that by hosting this important event, Dubai further strengthens the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Dubai’s position on the global stage will be forever remembered as being the bridge connecting cultures and people of all economic, political and social backgrounds. 

Gary Anderson, CEO of Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX): Over a number of years now, Dubai has successfully positioned itself as an international business hub, a gateway to emerging markets across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and a city that bridges East and West both commercially and culturally. Winning Expo 2020 will play a significant role in showcasing Dubai’s financial infrastructure and economic growth to a truly global audience, further building its profile and highlighting its competitive advantages. Dubai’s strategic location and leading infrastructure has helped DGCX support the growth of derivatives trading across the region. Expo 2020 will play a major role in supporting this development through attracting increased international investment and more market players to the region, further strengthening the UAE’s financial system. 

Abdullah Al Gurg, Group General Manager, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group LLC: UAE’s leadership believes in change and innovation and the Expo 2020 win is one such instance that showcases the “can do” attitude of our nation. Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group LLC has wholeheartedly supported UAE’s Expo bid which will help foster the fundamental principles of innovation, partnership and collaboration between participants and visitors. The increasing number of projects that are set to take off in the run up to Expo 2020 will benefit our various entities such as Scientechnic which is involved in traffic management solutions, industrial automation, power transmission & distribution, Telecommunication solutions and safety related projects by providing fire alarm and fire fighting equipment. The large influx of tourists forecast for the Expo 2020 will also ensure good returns for our retail entities.

Shailesh Dash, CEO of Al Masah: According to our study, the combined immediate output and historical legacy from the Expo bid will be profoundly positive and will serve as an engine of sustainable growth and progress for not only Dubai but the UAE in general as well as providing an indelible progressive image of the Mena region that is vastly different from general world-view and perception. 

Sudesh Aggarwal, Chairman IBPC Sharjah, President Indian Business Leaders Forum: I am very happy and excited with this news and congratulate the UAE leadership. This is just the beginning for Dubai which will see greater heights in the years to come. Expo 2020 would be a great happening and event for the prosperity of UAE, not only for UAE citizens and all the residents but for the entire gulf region to promote business and trade all over the world. With this event Dubai has entered into the big league of hosting events and should aim at hosting Olympics as well. 

Sripriyaa Kumaria, Director General, India Trade and Exhibition Centre Middle East: I join the nation in congratulating the leadership of UAE for winning the Expo 2020 bid successfully. Dubai has been a melting point as a modern city with culture, tradition, harmonious mix of nationalities and above all a model city where business and prosperity goes hand in hand. Hosting the Expo 2020 will be a great pride for the residents of UAE and an opportunity to portray what our magnificent city has to offer to the world. This is a once in a life time experience and our blessing to experience this in our city. 

Bruno Daher, Credit Suisse CEO for Middle East and North Africa: Winning Expo 2020 will serve to significantly reinforce Dubai’s position as a leading financial, trade and commercial hub. Dubai’s regulatory environment and well developed financial infrastructure are already widely viewed as important competitive advantages by international investors. Hosting Expo 2020 should further benefit the entire region, giving a global audience greater visibility of the GCC’s growth potential and favourable economic fundamentals. As usual, Dubai not only dreamt big, but acted too. It’s well deserved. 

Munir Kaloti, Chairman of Kaloti Group: I want to congratulate the UAE, and President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for this great milestone in the country’s history. I have been here for over 40 years and have witnessed the significant growth of the Emirate. Hosting the World Expo 2020 will bring countless benefits to a variety of sectors and further reinforce Dubai’s central position on the world map. 

Mathew Boice, Vice President, Ellucian EMEA & India: At Ellucian Middle East we’d like to congratulate His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, (Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai), and the city of Dubai for this well-deserved win. With the increase in opportunities that will be provided by Expo 2020, we are especially excited that the K12 students of today could be working at Expo 2020. To realise this vision, there will be a need for the development of pathways between schools, universities and exhibitors that will challenge today’s technical possibilities. These challenges will be overcome with research, innovation and new ideas. 

Bharat Bhatia, CEO, Conares: All the resources required for such mega developments are already in place and everyone will be in a position to immediately operate in the fast track in order to meet the Expo requirements. On several occasions in the past, Dubai has proven its capability to showcase world-class infrastructure projects within a short span of time. Hosting the Expo 2020 will attract new breed of investors from across the globe. The event will also encourage all the investors in UAE in addition to attracting new and young entrepreneurs to explore a healthy and transparent business environment. 

Dr Azad Moopen, Chairman & Managing Director — DM Healthcare: Dubai proved that it’s the ideal destination to host the Expo 2020. The UAE has all the components required to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, which enjoys a prominent position on the global map. Along with the developments to host the Expo 2020, the UAE will undoubtedly grow in all aspects. The tremendous growth in the health care sector, with the hosting of Expo 2020, will go along with the long-term vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai as a popular medical tourism destination in the Middle East. The World Expo 2020 will have a phenomenal positive impact on the UAE’s health care sector. 

Abdul Gafour, CEO — Moonway Group: The global fair will have an extremely positive impact as it could generate many opportunities for countries and people in and even beyond Dubai and the UAE. Dubai always is committed to win, achieve excellence, and demonstrate innovation. This is what reflected in its successful Expo 2020 bid, considering that it’s the ideal destination to host an event of this calibre with the flawless infrastructure and extremely sound economy. The UAE’s retail growth would be expected to grow phenomenally, with millions of visitors expected to land in the city during the Expo 2020. More population with the Expo 2020 will show more consumption rate benefitting the consumer companies and the retail segment over the longer term. 

Dilip Rahulan, Executive Chairman, Pacific Controls: Dubai is a global metropolis that constantly pursues growth and change. The city already has a global standard infrastructure. Dubai is exceptionally well developed on several aspects to host this prestigious global event. It would be a potential boost to the local and regional economy that has shown positive signs. The opportunity that will evolve with the winning Expo 2020 will create a platform for the whole world to realise what Dubai has already implemented in terms of sustainability and innovation. The sustainability theme for 2020 is the most appropriate for the future of mankind and we see it benefitting all. 

Manish Bakshi, Managing Director, BenQ Middle East: Dubai, as a trading and tourism hub, connecting the East and the West, is an ideal place for Expo 2020. The Emirate has all the infrastructure needed to hold a prestigious event such as the Expo 2020 especially since major regional exhibitions are held in Dubai like the Dubai Airshow, GITEX and Arabian Travel Market. On behalf of our organisation, we are celebrating with the rest of the world on winning the bid for the Expo 2020 and are looking forward to Dubai making another landmark history. 

Sachin Kerur, Head of the Gulf Region, Pinsent Masons: Winning Expo 2020 is further testament to the Emirates’ ability to act as a bridge between East and West. Given the Emirati population has been so welcoming to the international community over the years, the country is fully deserving of playing host to such a major event, which aims to bring people together to champion creativity, innovation and diversity. Expo 2020 is set to provide a significant boost to Dubai and the UAE’s economy. Estimates suggest Dh140 billion will be injected into the economy, creating thousands of jobs, and an influx of tourism.

Jamal Bin Hoireb, Managing Director, Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation: We extend our sincere congratulations to the UAE leadership and people on Dubai for winning the honour to showcase Expo 2020. Hosting this global mega-event will see a new chapter added to our city’s remarkable success story. The outcome of the bid did not surprise as it was a foregone conclusion that Dubai would emerge triumphant. This confidence that many UAE citizens and residents share stems from Dubai itself. 

AWQAF and Minors Affairs Foundation: The Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation congratulate the UAE and Dubai for winning the Expo 2020 bid. We believe this is an important opportunity to highlight the significant potential that the region represents. This win does not surprise us — it is the inevitable outcome of the vision and untiring efforts of our leaders, the government and the people of this dynamic city. 

Guido de Wilde, Senior Vice President, Regional Director, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Middle East: From everyone at Starwood, we want to take this opportunity to congratulate the UAE and Dubai’s leaders and the World Expo 2020 bid organising board on this tremendous achievement. Dubai is an exciting, cosmopolitan city and it has truly earned its success of being named the host city for the World Expo 2020. Not only is Dubai ideally located for such a global event, it has the infrastructure in place to host millions of visitors and it is thanks to the vision of its leaders and the hospitable, welcoming Emirati population that it has become the diverse, highly-connected city it is today. 

Sameer K Mohammed, Managing Director, Jaleel Holdings: Expo 2020 is a jewel in the crown of UAE’s achievements. The win endorses the federal state’s excellence across all spheres and particularly reinforces its business friendly environment that has made the emirate a role model to countries across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region and the world. The expo which will be held in Dubai further highlights the cosmopolitan city ‘s famed stature as a global venue to host such internationally acclaimed events. 

Al Mohannad Sharafuddin, Chairman & CEO of Arabian Falcon: Arabian Falcon wishes to take this opportunity to congratulate UAE’s leaders, its citizens, and residents on the momentous occasion of Dubai winning the bid for hosting the World Expo 2020. Dubai — a dynamic business centre and a tourist paradise — is a composite of the best there is and the best yet to come. The world fair will showcase to the whole world such attribute of Dubai and the UAE.

The outcome of the vote among the 167 member nations of the Bureau of International Exhibitions validated our belief in our country. Carrying forward a baton that represents a tradition passed down since 1851 is a reflection of what UAE is and what it can be. After all, the World Expo is not just an avenue to display products and promote trading but also to bridge bridges among nations, salute cultural diversity and celebrate meaningful achievements. 

Lakshmi Durai, Executive Director, Royal Caribbean Arabia: Winning Expo 2020 means an overall growth to the economy of the UAE. The development that we have been seeing in many sectors in the last year will further strengthen. This will lead to creation of more job opportunities and more people coming in to Dubai, both as visitors and residents. Historically, expositions of this sort have created immense development particularly in the tourism industry. Expo 2020 is no exception with an estimated 25 million tourists expected to visit during the winter period of 2020 – 21. 

Hussain Hashem, CEO, Aramex: Winning Expo 2020 has the potential to fundamentally change Dubai’s global profile. For all of us already living and working in the city, Dubai’s world class infrastructure — its roads, ports, airports and dedicated economic free zones — are obvious competitive advantages as a business centre. But Expo 2020 will give Dubai a truly global platform to showcase its credentials as one of the world’s leading international logistics and business hubs. 

Iskandar Najjar, CEO of Alpari Middle East: Rising local stock markets traditionally attract increased participation from retail investors, many of whom graduate to trade in forex and commodities. Dubai’s win to host Expo 2020 will provide an impetus to stock market trading with the UAE’s retail investors, who are among the wealthiest in the world, trading more actively on the forex and commodities front. Such positive investor sentiment will be further accelerated by the excellent regulatory infrastructure as represented by world-class bodies such as the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre.

Malek Al Malek, CEO of TECOM Business Parks: On behalf of TECOM’s business parks, I congratulate the UAE and Dubai leadership on securing the right to host Expo 2020. This is a huge achievement, which will enable the UAE to demonstrate its many attractions, innovations and talents on a global scale. As it has always done in the past with such occasions, I am confident that Dubai will strive to not only deliver a successful Expo, but it will aim to host the best Expo the world has ever seen. Dubai’s successful Expo campaign theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, resonates closely with the ambition of TECOM’s business parks. Since their inception, these dedicated business hubs have underpinned Dubai’s drive to become a knowledge-sharing economy through their dedication to specific industries. 

Abdullah Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Industrial City: We are delighted to hear the announcement that Dubai has won Expo 2020. We are positive that the Expo will add to the continued developments and success that the UAE has been witnessing over recent years. It will certainly be a major boost for all the sectors, and will significantly be reflected on the industrial sector. We consider the Expo a great opportunity for Dubai Industrial City, which is strategically located next to the new Al Maktoum Airport, and will be in a perfect location to offer all exhibitors and investors an excellent nearby zone of advanced products and facilities including warehousing and logistics solutions.” 

Majid Al Suwaidi, Managing Director, TECOM’s ICT Cluster: I want to congratulate everyone involved on the fantastic news that Dubai has won the Expo 2020 bid. The Expo will showcase Dubai and the UAE’s excellence across all fields, including the ICT and technology industries, and will provide a huge boost to the industry as well as our economy and cultural offering. Dubai’s global connectivity and accessibility, as well as its thriving industries and infrastructure, will allow exhibitors to reach a large and varied international audience. 

Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director, TECOM’s Media Cluster: The UAE is a truly inspiring success story and the Expo will allow the world to marvel at the wonders offered by Dubai. Our successful bid sends a positive signal to the rest of the world that the Middle East, a place of great change in recent years, is a region of innovation and dynamism, and it confirms the UAE’s place as a leader on the world stage. 

Dr Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director, TECOM’s Education Cluster: This is a significant milestone in the UAE and Dubai’s history, and one that will benefit the region for many years to come. Hosting the event will not only strengthen Dubai’s position as one of the world’s leading trade hubs, but it will also help businesses foster greater collaborations with other communities and inspire the next generation of business leaders and innovators. Winning the bid also underpins our own goals to develop the region’s talent pool and produce world-class graduates that are ready and willing to contribute to the UAE’s social and economic development. 

Marwan Abdul Aziz, Managing Director TECOM’s Sciences Cluster: It is a testament to the strong vision of our esteemed leadership that our city of Dubai has been selected. The strong sustainability mission of Expo 2020 is something that we champion at ENPARK every day. Our freezone acts as a platform for synergies that favour innovation and knowledge sharing in the sustainability sector as a method of building a diversified economy, and we believe that in winning this truly prestigious event, the sustainability sector in Dubai will exponentially build in strength. 

Lucy d’Abo, Managing Partner, DABO & CO: It is widely recognised that winning the bid to host the World Expo 2020 will have a monumental impact on the economic, social and cultural aspects of business, not just in Dubai, but across the UAE. With over 25 million people from around the world expected to participate in this global event, the local economy cannot fail to experience a boom. Whilst it is the financial services, real estate, tourism and retail sectors that are expected to be the most significant beneficiaries of Dubai’s win, the economic benefits will spread to a number of other sectors. 

Prafull Dwivedi, CEO of VLCC Group: This is indeed a significant moment in the history of Dubai, a city that has revolutionized the concept of development by the sheer pace and scale of its growth. In the eight years of its entry into the UAE, VLCC has grown in a way that a business organisation can only aspire for, and we are immensely grateful to this city for that. Expo 2020 promises growth in all sectors, along with increased job opportunities, which translates to more residents and a higher standard of living. As VLCC aims to educate and support people in leading a healthy and active lifestyle, we foresee a future that holds increased responsibilities and promises. 

P N C Menon, Founder & Chairman Sobha Group: On behalf of Sobha Group, I offer my sincere congratulations to His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, (Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai), for successfully bringing Expo 2020 to Dubai. Of all the nominated cities, I firmly believed that Dubai is the best suited to deliver a memorable Expo due to its relentless pursuit of excellence and imaginative thinking. Expo 2020 will strengthen the UAE’s position as a global enabler of business, trade and commercial development. Once more congratulations to the entire Expo 2020 team on their achievement. 

William O’Brien, President, American College of Dubai: Dubai winning Expo 2020 is great news. This historical win will help Dubai to showcase to the world its cultural and economic developments. This is good news for all sectors of the Dubai economy — and education will most certainly be a major beneficiary. Our evening programme for working students should do particularly well as people seek to upgrade their skills in preparation for the Expo which will open up more employment opportunities. 

Farhad Irani, Head of Retail Banking Group, Mashreq: Dubai sits at the epicentre of the most attractive growth regions on the planet, is blessed with leadership, tolerance, safety and commercial law. Dubai is the beacon of tomorrow truly reflecting the locus of economic enterprise in the next decade as power shifts from the west to the east. The economy and the banking industry will flourish as a consequence — domestic sectors will benefit from the 200K plus jobs created, cross-border trade will bloom with correspondent banks enabling dramatic increase in trade and finally Dubai now has truly the status of being a world city ..Dubai ..where impossible is just another challenge to overcome. Well done! 

Darius Khanloo, Managing Director, Hörmann Middle East: We will see phenomenal growth in Dubai which will lead to accelerated growth for many industry sectors especially the construction and hospitality industry. As manufacturers of industrial, commercial and residential doors, we see our business benefitting from the growth spurt expected. The number of tourists to Dubai will increase and the emirate will be able to further strengthen its position as a tourism hub. All in all, it is a win-win situation for all concerned. 

Dr B. R. Shetty, CEO, NMC Healthcare: Congratulations to the nation and its Rulers on winning the opportunity to host Expo2020! The vision of the Government and perseverance of the authorities have always been admirable. This achievement is the result of it. After the spell of recession, the economy is gaining momentum. The timing of Expo2020 is perfect to propel it further. To be successful, Expo2020 needs the right ambience to encourage innovation and only UAE offers the right environment to strengthen old relationships and establish new ones. Geographically too UAE is a perfect place for the world to get together and open a new page in commerce and business segment. We congratulate the authorities once again and wish the event all success. 

Massimo Falcioni, CEO, Euler Hermes GCC: Hosting the Expo 2020 in Dubai would be another attribute to the city’s success and the wise vision of UAE’s rulers. Surprising as it is, in only a period of 42 years since the formation of the UAE, the country continuously attract global inspiration and talent, creating an environment for outstanding opportunities. For over a decade, the UAE has made significant efforts to diversify their economy to reduce dependence on petroleum products. UAE’s share related to oil in total GDP decreased from 47 per cent in 2000 to 33 per cent in 2012. Hosting Expo 2020 will not be a great achievement for the UAE alone, but for other GCC countries and the entire Arab region. This is the first time such a prominent event is being held in the Menasa region. Winning the Expo 2020 bid could have a positive impact to UAE’s real GDP growth in the first few years after it is awarded, accelerating closer to the event. Falcioni says. 

Marcello Baricordi, General Manager UAE and Global Accounts Lead, Visa Inc. Mena: This is an outstanding success for the emirate and will reinforce Dubai’s position as a truly global city and a pivotal commercial hub between East and West and focal point for a market place of over two billion people in the wider region. Visa expects Expo 2020 to act as a catalyst for economic growth, development and prosperity for Dubai and provide the perfect platform to help the Emirate achieve its objective of attracting 20 million visitors a year by 2020 and continue the dynamic growth and success story of this extraordinary global hub. 

Rob Jones, Managing Director, Coffee Planet: It is with great pride and excitement that we congratulate Dubai on its successful bid to host the Expo 2020. As a homegrown brand, we have supported the entrepreneurial spirit of the city to create a business we are passionate about and only expect this spirit to continue to grow, as we look forward to the future of the city as it prepares to host the World Expo. With SME’s currently accounting to 40 per cent of the UAE’s current GDP, we are confident this figure will continue to grow as Dubai’s vision in “Connecting Minds and Creating the Future” comes to life.

Mohammad Qasim Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of National Bonds: Winning the bid reflects the relentless endeavours of the UAE government and its people in building an advanced infrastructure that supports the growth and development of the economy at various levels, making it a global business hub that provides innovative opportunities across all sectors.

Expo 2020 will undoubtedly cascade a positive impact on the economies of all countries across the Arabian Gulf and the wider region allowing stakeholders to leverage the plethora of prospects that open up. Under the theme “communicative minds for a better future”, the exhibition will set the stage for a multitude of career and business opportunities in addition to attracting investments. Apart from improving and strengthening the relationship between Dubai and the exhibiting countries, the six-month event will witness active cultural and educational exchanges that position Dubai as a multifaceted destination founded on excellence and far-sightedness. 

Rupprecht Queitsch, General Manager, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai: The JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is a proud supporter of the Expo 2020 bid, a community wide effort which effectively shows the dynamism of the city. Dubai is a deserving recipient of this honour; a city that never sleeps and is always driving development at a rapid pace- from desert to bustling city in 42 years. The theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” really represents to me the fact that Dubai embraces change and development, it’s a unique place where a myriad of cultures live harmoniously and the future is at our fingertips. The Middle East has not had the honour of hosting the Expo before and Dubai is without doubt a proud and prime candidate. Expo 2020 is expected to attract 25 million visitors to the UAE and this will have a huge economic impact on the region and the hospitality industry will definitely be positively affected by this influx. 

Rohit Walia, Executive Chairman, Alpen Capital (ME) Ltd: We are delighted to hear the news of Dubai winning the Expo 2020 bid. This is a landmark achievement for Dubai, its people and its outstanding leadership. The story of Dubai and its ambition is inspirational for all the businesses that operate in the country and with the winning of the Expo 2020 bid; we expect to see a new chapter of growth for Dubai. The business community in the UAE is excited about the future and the opportunities that it will bring. 

Mahendra Singh, Managing Director- SPF Realty: The impact of winning the bid to host the coveted Expo 2020 on Dubai’s real estate sector will be manifold. It will infuse the economy, attracting millions of tourists and residents to the nation in the coming years, apparently triggering significant investments in commercial or residential property sector. It’s strongly believed that the Expo 2020 will play a significant role in sustaining the property market in the Emirate and beyond. Dubai is already the preferred location for real estate investors from several parts of the world. The winning Expo 2020 bid will strengthen further the sector, which is already showing great resilience over the past few years. 

Tareq Elrefai, Senior Executive Officer and Head of Client Management for the MEA region, BNY Mellon: Winning EXPO 2020 is great news not only for Dubai but the whole region as it is the first time that the Expo has been hosted in an Arab country. This is evidence of the international recognition the UAE enjoys. I see Expo 2020 as a catalyst for the economy of the UAE, supporting many areas from job creation to real estate development and growth in leisure and tourism. In addition, I expect to see an increase in international investors looking at the region for opportunities, especially in light of increased company transparency we are seeing through the rising standards in investor relations. 

Saeed Al Qatami, Chief Executive Officer, Deyaar Development: We are truly delighted to be part of this great celebration that firmly ranks UAE and Dubai among the most advanced economies of the world. Winning the Expo 2020 bid is not just a testament to our visionary leadership, it is also a milestone that articulates Dubai’s dream and enduring commitment to economic progress. I congratulate the government, as well as residents and businesses that have joined hands to make this dream a reality. Deyaar pledges its continued support towards building Dubai’s quality infrastructure, residential communities and state-of-the art facilities to ensure its readiness to stage the global mega-event in 2020. 

Y Sudhir Kumar Shetty, COO, Global Operations, UAE Exchange: Expo 2020 is a jewel in the crown of UAE’s achievements. The win endorses the federal state’s excellence across all spheres and particularly reinforces its business friendly environment that has made the emirate a role model to countries across the Middle East & North Africa (Mena) region and the world. The expo which will be held in Dubai further highlights the cosmopolitan city state’s famed stature as a global venue to host such internationally acclaimed events. The win of Expo 2020 will certainly give a strong growth push to business in the emirate and will help catalyse trade and services which is already on a buoyant curve. We believe that it is an occasion to celebrate the UAE’s enduring and abiding passion to excel in whatever it does and continue to be a leader in the comity of nations. 

Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist, Saxo Bank: Your win is well deserved. Dubai have arrived at the international scene with the win today. The impact and recognition from the World Expo is not only a first for Dubai but also the Middle East. Dubai’s infrastructure and tourism played a vital role to win the bid but it’s also a telling sign of how in the future growth and innovation, not only will, but also need to come from regions outside the old developed world. The UAE celebrates only it’s 42nd national day this weekend. It’s rare I am in a country younger than myself, and today is a day to celebrate for Dubai but tomorrow the work needs to start on the path to 2020 at all times trying to balance the ever growing aspiration of this country with its need for reducing the cyclical nature of its business and investments. 

Jakob Thomsen, Regional Head MENASA and CEO of Saxo Bank Dubai: I always believed that Dubai is one of the front runners for many reasons. With its highly advanced infrastructure, capacity and vicinity to the outside world it is very much geared to host such a demanding event. But most importantly, Dubai is a truly cosmopolitan society with an historically international mindset and respect. This is the foundation of the success of Dubai and it continue to be part of the political thinking and decision-making. Dubai will be an excellent host of the World Expo 2020! It is a great opportunity to also brand Dubai as cultural destination besides being a fantastic business and holiday destination. Dubai remains a favourite destination for Saxo Bank but also for me personally, I think it’s a great place filled with opportunities, and I can’t wait for the world to see!

Gulf News
Fireworks display on Burj Khalifa as Dubai wins the Expo 2020.

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Residents celebrate Dubai’s Expo 2020 win

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Dubai wins Expo 2020: Gulf News TV special

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Four cities vie to host 2020 world's fair

INTERACTIVE

Bringing the Dubai Expo 2020 theme to life