Expo 2020 site
An aerial view taken after the recent crowning of Al Wasl dome shows the progress of construction at the Expo 2020 site in Dubai. Image Credit: Reuters

Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Emirates NBD

Hesham Abdullah Al Qasim

“With a year to go until Expo 2020 Dubai, as the event’s Official Banking Partner, Emirates NBD joins the country in anticipation and excitement as we prepare in earnest for this milestone event in our nation’s history.

“The bank has already made significant progress; we have scaled our teams as we plan ahead to showcase our innovations in smart technology and digital banking through our site-wide presence as “Bank of the Future”. We have also identified small businesses as key growth drivers to the event and have amplified our support to the UAE-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups registered to do business with Expo 2020 Dubai.

“Looking ahead, as the pace of development steps up, especially in terms of projects, real estate and transport infrastructure, we anticipate that Expo 2020 Dubai will continue to provide significant financial opportunity to the UAE economy and to its banking sector. The event will shine a spotlight on Dubai’s immense investment potential, and in addition to the direct project financing opportunities, financial institutions can also look forward to increased interest from overseas companies and its related transactional opportunities.”

Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah, Vice-Chairman, MAG Property Development

Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah

“Expo 2020 will showcase Dubai as never before on the international economic and business stage. Millions of visitors are expected and realty market will definitely benefit as people who will see the promising economic potential of the city, the country and the region are likely to invest in business and properties.

“We know that thousands of properties, commercial and residential, are due to be delivered in the first quarter of 2020 and as such there might be expectations of oversupply. Eventually, the market will correct itself due to its strong infrastructure and regulations. The Dubai government has made some wise moves in terms of building great infrastructure, extending long-term visas in different categories. These are bound to provide an overall market boost to real estate and other activities.

“I am confident that Expo 2020 Dubai will bring new type of visitors interested in starting businesses and looking for investment opportunities. We, in the business community have great optimism about Expo 2020.”

Sanad Al Meqbali, Abu Dhabi-based businessman

Sanad Al Meqbali

“[Expo 2020 Dubai] is expected to leave positive impacts on the national economy for many years to come. The event has great importance for small businesses and enterprises, offering them an opportunity to establish a footing in the UAE market.

The much-anticipated Expo in Dubai next year is projected to contribute Dh122 billion to the UAE’s economy and create nearly 50,000 new jobs per year between 2013 and 2031, according to consultancy Ernst & Young.

The consultancy estimates that Dubai expo will contribute 1.5 per cent growth of the UAE’s GDP.

The UAE economy is strong, resilient and able to weather challenges, as apparent in all economic indicators that underline the solidity of the national economy despite volatilities in global markets. The various economic sectors will benefit greatly from Expo 2020, driven by the UAE’s economic diversification strategy, supporting sustainable development in the country. The recent series of investment-motivating decisions, which have been taken by the relevant authorities, will also help attract more foreign investment opportunities in the coming period, in conjunction with Expo 2020.”

Najib Al Shamsi, Economic Analyst and Councilor at the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce

Najib Al Shamsi

“By hosting a major global event, Dubai has emphasised its ability to absorb global financial and economic crises. The global event, held in the Middle East for the first time, is a long-term investment for the country that is expected to have a positive impact on its economy while benefiting from its internationally acclaimed reputation and profile.

“Expo 2020 Dubai will help boost the position of Dubai and the UAE as a global investment destination, with the UAE ranked first in the Arab region in attracting FDI flows.

“The world will have a close look at the tourism potential and tourism infrastructure the UAE and Dubai in particular, encouraging international tourism companies to invest. Expo 2020 emphasises Dubai’s presence on the map of the global MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) industry. It also offers a six-month platform for transfer of technology and techniques needed for training Emiratis and will create jobs for a segment of Emirati citizens and reflect positively on the local economy.”

Rizwan Sajan, Founder-Chairman Danube

Rizwan Sajan

“We are expecting millions of visitors to attend the Expo 2020 and Dubai might experience phenomenal growth in every sector that it has established its presence in.

“Expo 2020 is going to exhibit all types of new innovations from across the world and its infrastructure and location makes it suitable for the most advanced technology era that every country is trying to incorporate in its lifestyle.

“These factors, along with ease of doing business, are going to contribute to the GDP of Dubai, leading to an increase in more projects and businesses across the board, thus creating more job opportunities. So, this event is definitely going to place Dubai higher in the list of most favoured places for conducting business.”