By Hamad Buamim
Hamad Buamim says hosting Expo 2020 will be a life-changing experience for the UAE
Dubai is where the world comes to do business and is a favoured meeting point for global thought leaders, institutions and businesses. No other candidate city for the World Expo 2020 can claim Dubai’s level of public support, sound financial planning and a theme that has the potential to leave a positive legacy for future generations.
Hosting Expo 2020 will be life-changing for the UAE; not just during the lifespan of the event but for many years to follow. Never before has this incredible event been held in the Middle East and Africa region and 2020 is an opportunity for us to showcase the region’s potential to the world.
Dubai is extremely well prepared to host Expo 2020. The UAE’s economic backdrop is strong and characterised by steady growth rates, while the country is recognised as a leading trading nation and gateway to emerging markets across the MEA and Southeast Asia.
As host city, Dubai already has extensive and modern infrastructure. However, all planned construction work is integral to the city’s wider urban development strategy and so is sustainable and central to Dubai’s future economic expansion.
Building the Expo site will create a new business centre for the city and will provide a major boost for the private sector, particularly in construction, infrastructure development, trade and transport, as well as the tourism and leisure sectors.
The site, known as Dubai Trade Centre Jebel Ali, is spread across 438 hectares and adjacent to Al Maktoum Airport, on a previously undeveloped area, which will not require any displacement of people or businesses or infrastructure.
Construction is going to benefit significantly from the new hotels, roads, offices and large convention centre planned as part of the bid. Meanwhile, tourism and leisure will see new stock come on board as well as an increase in visitor numbers who are attracted by the increased exposure the UAE gets through the bid. By 2020, Dubai is expecting to have up to 25 million visitors a year and with the infrastructure planned as part of the bid it will be more than able to handle these numbers.
Dubai Chamber is playing its part by galvanising support across the private sector. Companies across the board have demonstrated tremendous support for the bid, with business leaders viewing it as a significant opportunity — an opinion shared by business leaders across the Arabian Gulf and beyond. The UAE is a fantastic place to do business. Home to around 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies, including approximately 70 percent of the world’s top 100 firms,Dubai Chamber is seeking to attract those which have yet to enter the market through its “Anchor 100” initiative launched earlier last month.
With a regulatory environment and infrastructure built for business, participants of Dubai Expo 2020 will benefit from operating in one of the most dynamic economies in the world — where the world comes to do business.
Hamad Buamim is the director general of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry.