Dubai has 'strongest bid' for Expo 2020 - top official

Tourism chief Helal Saeed Al Marri says emirate in 'very strong position' ahead of November vote
Dubai has 'strongest bid' for Expo 2020 - top official
An artists impression of the UAEs World Expo site.
By Andy Sambidge
Tue 17 Sep 2013 02:09 PM

A leading official behind the Dubai's bid to host the 2020 World Expo has said the emirate "clearly has the strongest bid".

Ahead of a final vote by the Paris-based Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) in November, Helal Saeed Al Marri, a member of the Higher Committee of the Dubai bid, said: "In terms of the vote itself we are in a very, very strong position.

"We have a lot of support from international counterparts in various countries; many of you have heard the public support from places like France and the UK and many other places."

Al Marri, also director general of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, also said in a wide ranging interview with Hotelier Middle East: "Even when the evaluation committee visited Dubai and the various establishments, including the hotels, they were quite surprised and commented that they hadn’t seen, even in past bids, a city so aligned with a common vision." 

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

Al Marri cautioned that for the likes of Turkey and Russia, Dubai was competing against countries with prior experience of bidding for the World Expo event.

"This is not their first time to bid for the Expo, so they have had attempts before and they are also very focused on winning. When you are in a competition, you may have a very good chance but you have to respect your competitors and realize that it is a tough road ahead over the coming months," he told Hotelier.

The winner will be announced after a vote by the bureau’s 166 member states at its next general assembly in November.

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