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Tue 28 Feb 2012 04:57 PM

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UAE could invest $4bn in World Expo bid

Gulf state formally kicks off campaign to host global event

UAE could invest $4bn in World Expo bid
Authorities in the country previously presented a bid to the Expo’s organisers in November last year

The UAE could invest between $2bn and $4bn in hosting the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, if its bid to host the event is successful.

The Gulf state’s bid to hold the event, which features pavilions and displays from nations all around the world, was kicked off today in conjunction with the visit of Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions, the World Expo’s administrative body.

The official bid was submitted by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

Hilal Al Marri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre, said that the country was prepared to invest significant amounts in infrastructure for the event.

"The estimates we have of what other countries had spent on hosting such an expo in the past, range between $2 billion to $4 billion on projects related to the expo including developing of infrastructure and construction... And Dubai looks to spend a similar sum," he told reporters, adding that such an investment would be small compared to what the UAE could make in revenues from the Expo.

If successful in its bid, the Gulf state will host the six-month long event at ‘Exhibition City’, an as-yet unconstructed 400-hectare development located near Al Maktoum International Airport to the south-west of Dubai, between January and June 2010.

Rivals for the right to host the World Expo are Thailand, Russia, Brazil and Turkey. The winner will be announced in November next year.

The last World Expo, which takes place once every five years, was hosted in Shanghai in 2010 and attracted more than 73 million visitors, making around $157 million in profit.

* With agencies