A still from the closing ceremony at Expo 2020 Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Expo 2020 Dubai and its legacy are expected to contribute Dh154.9 billion of gross value added (GVA) to the UAE’s economy from 2013 to 2042, a new report said.

The Expo, which welcomed 24.1 million visits during its six-month run, is also expected to support approximately 1,039,000 full-time equivalent job-years, equal to more than 35,000 FTE jobs per annum in the UAE over the same period, the EY study added.

Sectors contributing the most to economic activity are organisation and business services (Dh75.5 billion), construction (Dh31.9 billion), and restaurants and hotels (Dh23.1 billion).

The pre-event phase contributed around one quarter of GVA, the event itself added almost 13 per cent, while the lion’s share of economic benefits – 62 per cent – will be felt in the legacy phase through to 2042, the report said.

A resounding success
Expo 2020 Dubai saw: 192 nations, 24.1 million physical visits, 251.2 million virtual visits

20,000: The number of change-makers the Expo brought together through its People and Planet Programme to talk on important topics such as climate change, culture, and gender

Dh6.8 billion: Contracts awarded to SMEs

1 million: The number of students welcomed as part of the Expo’s school programme

140: Global innovations supported from 76 countries, impacting 5.8 million people worldwide

100%: All permanent, Expo-managed buildings achieved a LEED rating

91%: Buildings that achieved a Gold or Platinum rating

717,004 tonnes: Reduction in carbon footprint (carbon dioxide equivalent)

Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and CEO, Expo City Dubai Authority, said: “From the outset, we were committed to hosting a World Expo that would achieve long-lasting economic, social and environmental benefits for the UAE, the region and the world, with positive impacts extending well beyond the six months of the event. Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, we have delivered on that promise.

“One year since we closed our doors, this report confirms that Expo 2020 Dubai was a triumph – a milestone event that is substantially boosting our nation’s economy, and whose ripple effects are continuing to enhance our city’s international profile, driving new business growth and attracting globally significant events such as the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP28), which our legacy city, Expo City Dubai, is proud to host in November 2023.”

Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) said: “Expo 2020 Dubai and now Expo City Dubai constitute an indisputable platform for sustainable development in the UAE and further afield. The 182-day event surpassed all expectations as an extraordinary experience for visitors and participants, and its legacy is set to continue creating new opportunities for growth in the years to come.”

Legacy considerations were at the forefront of planning from the outset, and Expo City Dubai repurposes more than 80 per cent of the infrastructure built for the six months of the event. It forms an integral part of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan and the emirate’s continued growth, and takes forward Expo 2020 Dubai’s spirit of collective action through the ongoing delivery of programmes, initiatives and events that will draw visitors, businesses and tenants to add further impact and economic value.

Rob Moody, Partner – Transactions & Corporate Finance, EY, said: “As the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, Expo 2020 Dubai has yielded substantial and wide-ranging long-term economic, social and environmental benefits for the UAE and communities around the world. Expo City Dubai is forecast to deliver additional growth and development and is set to support the more immediate strategic priorities and the wider future ambitions identified by the UAE.”

More broadly, research has also shown that Expo 2020 Dubai sparked progress on a global scale, with the 192 participating countries reporting benefits in terms of trade and business partnerships, nation branding and cultural understanding, as well as international diplomacy and cooperation.