British PM backs Dubai in race to host Expo 2020

David Cameron says UAE city deserves to win vote next month to host global event

British Prime Minister David Cameron. (Getty Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron. (Getty Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron is backing Dubai to win the World Expo 2020 event.

In a statement, he said the UAE city deserved to win the decision of the 167 member nations of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the organisers, who will cast their votes on November 27.

"I believe they should choose Dubai," Cameron said, saying it is a "city that shows how different cultures and peoples can converge behind common goals, living and working side by side".

Read David Cameron's full statement here

The other cities still in the race to host the prestigious event are Sao Paulo in Brazil, Yekaterinburg in Russia and Izmir in Turkey.

Cameron added: "This is Dubai’s moment. As you approach Dubai its incredible skyline makes a stunning first impression. But as I discovered when I visited last year, you leave with a lasting impression of something far greater.

"In just 50 years, Dubai has been transformed from a small fishing and pearling town into one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. This is a city where you will hear Arabic, Urdu, Malayalam, Somali, Tagalog, Russian and English all being spoken and where more than 200 nationalities live and work."

He said holding Expo 2020 in Dubai will remind the world that the Middle East "is a region with potential and dynamism, a source of innovation for generations past, present and future".

Cameron is the latest big name to back Dubai's bid. Former US President Bill Clinton and London Mayor Boris Johnson also have publicly backed Dubai.

In the statement, the British PM said: "Dubai is a great business capital and its success rightly inspires people to see the potential of the region and to believe they can change their own countries for the better with vision, conviction and hard work. Dubai provides trading and transport hubs that connect the world. So an Expo in Dubai would be accessible to a far broader community."

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Posted by: Jake

Dubai deserves the Expo, no doubt. I just wonder, what the Expo means for the silent majority, trying to make a living here, means? The guys who already struggle to find a reasonable accommodation, who commute for 3 hours every day, who need to send money home. I know, they are always free to leave or ask for a raise, but perhaps it's not that easy after all. Rents have increased and are pretty close to levels we had in 2007 and I can't see much new developments near completion that could put an ease to that. So what are the admins, accountants, sales staff and so on going to do?

Posted by: procan

@ rootless... where to being . How about the numbers. Expo 67 Montreal on the beautiful IIe Notre-Dame in the Gulf of the St Lawrence River across from Montreal. 50,306,648 guest . Still holding the single day record of 569,500 . It cost Montreal a fortune, and it lost plenty. Some things cannot be measure in dollars rootless. Most pundants of the day called it Canada,s coming out party. The legacy still lives on today . This is a big deal for Dubai, and Royal Famlies surely no it. P.S. we liked it so much we did it again in 1986 in Vancouver B.C. but that's another story :). Dubai welcome the world to your beautiful city "go all out"
you will never be sorry. Can you can here it soon ! Welcome the World to Dubai 2020, the biggest show on Earth . Cheers

Posted by: procan

Yes Telcoguy there was a terrible price to pay almost 22 years as I remember. But you must remember it was our summer of love :) . Other than massive debt Expo left us, A beautiful Bio sphere to observe nature in a urban setting used as a teaching tool, Montreal Casino still very successful , La Ronde amusement park { owned by Six Flags large American Corp} The Alcan Aquarium closed in the later 1990s. Part of the site was used for the 1976 Olympics, and my personal best Legacy and a money maker " The Canadian Grand Prix " so there it is hugh debt ,big hangover what a party. Go Dubai, hope you beat all our records.

Posted by: one of the joes

@Hisham, you may like to attend classes in school and learn how to pronounce Russian names, learn a bit about history of the world, or that the distance from Sao Paolo to Dubai is as far as from Dubai to Sao Paolo. And if you learn a little more, then you will find out that Sao Paolo has a population of about 11-12 mio people - mainly nationals, not working guests.
Regarding the world expo being the biggest event in the world or the most glamorous one, hmm. Shanghai in 2010 had 73 mio visitors - with only 3.5 mio overseas visitors, the others were Chinese. Looking forward to seeing the number of Emiratis visit their own expo.
And don't you think it is interesting that you seem to consider glamorous to be desirable? How does that work with the religious mandate of modesty?
But yes, I believe that temporarily a large number of jobs will be created - to allow construction of the artifacts that shall manifest Dubai as a tourist destination.

Posted by: Rootless

But could somebody explain please:
- what EXACTLY is an Expo?
- can anybody remember anything significant about any Expo in, say, the last 30 years?
- does anyone know anyone who has ever been to an Expo?
- so we know the last one was in Shanghai (from all the newspaper reports here), anybody know where the previous one was held? and the one before that?
- is an Expo in Dubai really going to drive significant additional economic growth over the next SIX YEARS????
- aren't we all getting carried away by something which is basically a bit bigger than GITEX?
- and, um, what if Dubai deosn't actually get it (bearing in mind the locked-in favourite for the 2012 Olypics was Paris...)? Would that really be such a big disaster?

Enough with the silly mindless hype about a marginal event many years into the future.

Posted by: wilde

@ rootless

Everyones entitled to your own opinion, but i will say this because its based on fact. GITEX isnt the biggest event in the UAE, its actually Gulfood :) This is taking into account number of exhibitors, visitors and also net square meters of space.....jus sayin

Posted by: Monkey Tennis

A few billion - absolutely; peanuts. Couple of month's profit for a large multinational corporate.

As for the 5% of visitors that equates to 3.5m people but of course, that's irrelevant, this isn't Disneyland - it's who walks through the door and the size of their wallet that matters not the volume.

Posted by: Monkey Tennis

I'm not going to claim the Expo will be a glamourous event or create 100,000's of jobs but Expos are not simply ego-trips and the 70m+ people who visited in Shanghai, suggests it won't be a glorified Gitex either (I assume tongue was firmly in cheek).

From a personal perspective - I spent a month there- a lot of business was done at Shanghai both in terms of introducing UAE companies/products to the world but also identifying Chinese business partners and suppliers. There were some major deal done that may or may not have occured if not for the Expo setting. The immense goodwill that the Chinese hospitality generated, attested to by many people I spoke to, also created value; simply put it meant people who attended were simply more willing to think about doing business with Chinese companies because of greater familarity and a respect for the ability the authorities had shown in organsising the event.

I think there are huge benefits for Dubai and I sincerely hope it wins.

Posted by: Hisham

Rootless, the Expo is the biggest event in the world and by far the most glamorous one. The Expo will lead to an unprecended boom in Dubai and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be created.
And there is absolutely no way some city in Russia whose name I can not pronounce or Brazil which is so far away will win ahead of Dubai.
It is our duty living in the UAE to full heartedly support the bid as it will change our lives in unimagineable ways, And if you cannot even support it, the least you can do is be quiet and not be skeptical of a city that is a miracle in every sense of the word.

Posted by: Ahmed Ali

Reads like a press release from Dubai Govt.

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