Reem Ebrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State and Managing Director of the Higher Committee for Hosting the World Expo 2020 in Dubai said the UAE has decided to host Expo 2020 in Dubai, expressing optimism about winning international support for hosting this economic, tourism and cultural gathering which is expected to see about 160 countries and will last for six months.

The Minister underlined the keenness of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to rally regional, Arab and international efforts for hosting Expo 2020. She said Expo 2020 coincides with the country’s golden jubilee since it will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020. He indicated that UAE has strong and strategic relations with the countries of the region and the continent of Africa, which would help garner support for votes for Dubai’s bid. The minister unveiled a plan to support the participation of poor countries in the Dubai Expo. She had a masterplan for the Dubai Trade Centre at Jebel Ali, a proposed site to host the six-month World Expo. She added that the site was selected due to its strategic location, being equidistant to Dubai and Abu Dhabi and adjacent to the Dubai World Central airport and Jebel Ali Port. This, she added would provide ease of access to millions of international and local visitors.

Unique architectural heritage

The total cost of establishing Dubai Expo headquarters will be between $2 to $4 billion (Dh7.3 billion to Dh14.6 billion). The site masterplan is inspired by traditional Arab souqs and integrates the UAE’s unique architectural heritage and environment of vibrancy and trade with the requirements of the Expo to foster the fundamental principles of innovation, partnership and collaboration between participants and visitors. The theme of the expo “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” reflects Dubai’s cultural diversity and its ability to bring different creative minds together on a single platform. The 438-hectare site will be one of the largest ever used for a World Expo and will ensure an unforgettable experience for the event’s 25 million visitors. The host of the expo will be decided through a popular vote. Around 160 member nations will cast their votes to choose between Dubai (UAE), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Yekaterinburg (Russia), Ayutthaya (Thailand) and Izmir (Turkey). The Minister said Dubai enjoys the strongest position among five candidate cities thanks to the high status of the UAE in politics, economics and humanitarian role internationally; adding that the UAE is also one of the world’s most secure and stable nations and is one of 10 countries with the lowest crime rates.