Winning the Expo 2020 bid will have far-reaching impact on Dubai’s economy, accelerating growth, creating jobs and boosting opportunities for the emirate’s main sectors with the legacy it will leave behind.
The Expo is expected to contribute an increase of €28.8 billion to Dubai’s GDP and €17.7 billion (Dh86.2 billion) in added value to its economy, according to the Expo 2020 organisers.
The international gathering will create approximately 280,000 jobs in Dubai from 2013 to 2021, with about 10 per cent of those jobs being available from 2013 to 2017, they said.
The Expo will offer the country’s SME sector the exposure to showcase their products, network on a global scale and do business with international companies, Abdul Baset Al Janahi, chief executive of Dubai SME, told Gulf News.
“The economic impact of the Expo is tremendous…it will be a real qualitative jump and direct benefit for SMEs,” he said. “The countries that participate in the Expo will need to import their products, they will need logistic support on the ground and they will need staff. So this will be a big opportunity for SMEs to offer their services in logistics like transport, printing and utilities.”
Winning the Expo bid will give SMEs, which make up 95 per cent of the UAE’s businesses, more global reach and solid reputation.
“The Expo will be an opportunity for SMEs to exhibit their products and create business relations. Dubai and the UAE are already renowned but if we win the Expo, this gives a big push for SMEs in interacting with businesses abroad. It will be the first time a country in the Middle East hosts the Expo and this will give businesses a feel of confidence in dealing with SMEs,” Al Janahi said.
UAE-based businesses see the potential of contributing to the various infrastructure projects on the Expo site in Jebel Ali and serving ancillary industries around it.
“It will be a major boost for all the sectors in Dubai, which will significantly be reflected on the industrial sector,” said Abdullah Bel Houl, managing director of Dubai Industrial City.
The industrial sector provides the machinery and mechanical equipment, transport equipment and parts, base metal, chemicals, food and beverages and mineral products that will contribute to the needs and preparations for Expo 2020, he said.
Dubai Industrial City, which is located next to the new Al Maktoum Airport, will target exhibitors and investors with its products, including warehousing and logistics solutions, Bel Houl added.
The boost in traffic of tourists, companies and visitors expected to congregate in Dubai during the six-month Expo if it wins the bid, will translate into growth opportunities for UAE businesses across various sectors.
Retailers are optimistic that the expected increase in tourists will help boost the current growth levels of the retail sector.
“Dubai is on par with London in terms of available Gross Leasable Area (GLA), which reflects its maturity. Any further growth in Dubai’s retail sector will have to be in line with growing population and number of tourists,” said Iyad Malas, chief executive of Majid Al Futtaim Holding.