Over 26,000 companies from 150 countries have applied to be involved in Expo 2020 Dubai, which opens on October 20, 2020.
Expo 2020 Dubai has awarded over half of all contracted related to the event to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) companies and is on target to meet its goal on awarded a fifth of its budget to this sector, an executive from the organising company confirmed on Wednesday.
“So far we have over 26,000 registered suppliers from one hundred and fifty countries wanting to do business with Expo. 75 percent of those companies are actual SMEs,” Tina Ghanem, director of Expo 2020’s Online Marketplace (OMP), said during a presentation at the Arabian Business Startup Academy in Dubai.
Last November, Expo 2020 announced the launch of OMP, a free-to-use online platform which allows companies from around the world to apply for business opportunities as part of the event, which will run from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021.
“To date, we have awarded 56 percent of our contracts to small and medium businesses,” Ghanem added.
A representative from Expo 2020 confirmed that over 5,600 contracts have been awarded so far.
Organisers of the event have set a goal of awarding 20 percent of the value of all contracts to SMEs and Ghanem said plans were on target to achieve this.
It was announced earlier this month that Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, has established a City Readiness Sub-committee to ensure all local and federal entities of the UAE coordinate to deliver an exceptional event.
The sub-committee is led by Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, vice chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, according to a media statement.
The subcommittee discussed the development of a plan that outlines how dozens of entities across the UAE will collaborate to ensure the successful delivery of Expo 2020 – which will be the largest event ever hosted in the Arab world.
The plan includes how Dubai and the UAE will enhance the visitor journey during the six months of Expo 2020, covering areas such as immigration, transport, events, healthcare and attractions across the rest of the country.
Expo 2020 expects to welcome 25 million visits over the six month period it will be held, with about 70 percent of visitors projected to come from outside the UAE – the largest proportion of international visitors in the 168-year history of World Expos.