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Expo 2020- Anticipated Economic Benefits

World Expos are large public exhibition which run up to a  period of six months. They are based on universal themes and are visited by millions of visitors around the world. For Expo 2020, four cities- Dubai (UAE), Yekaterinburg (Russia), Izmir (Turkey) and Sao Paulo (Brazil)  who have submitted their bids, are in the final race.

Dubai, the last minute entry in the race, appears to be the strongest contender  as evaluated by various  economists across the globe. Thanks to international quality infrastructure integrated with magnificent logistic support. The final decision will be taken in the month of November 2013. Amidst such strong speculations, both the social as well as business clusters in the Emirates, seems euphoric.

An event , considered to be as big as an Olympic and FIFA World Cup, World Expos have been known for bringing in lot of economic well being to the hosting nation. The economic well being is manifested in the form of investments, infrastructure up gradation, employment opportunities and tourist inflows. Not to mention the brand enhancement, which are generally associated with organizing such mega events.

As World Expo 2020 is anticipated to bring in a new dimension to Dubai’s economy, we at FocusM, have done a brief research on the expected economic benefits, out of the expo. The following points capture some of them-

  • Investments- Whatever Dubai does, it does in style- Goes the saying. In order to successfully bid for the event, the city has put an ambitious plan worth USD 8.4 billion in place. The plan encapsulates world class convention facility, infrastructure upgrading and numerous mega tourist attraction projects.
  •  Tourist Inflows and spending– The event is expected to experience a total of 25 million visitors. Out of this, 70 percent  will be international and regional visitors and rest will come from UAE . Such a mass scale tourist arrival should eventually have a strong economic impact in the form of spending in hotels, retail and food etc.
  • Local as well as regional tourism– Earlier Expos conducted in other parts of the globe have demonstrated that a number incoming visitors, do tend to visit other tourist destination (in and around the neighbouring country) as well. Hence Expo 2020  should also increase  visitation of various places in UAE and in neighbouring countries such as Oman.
  • Real Estate Mega Projects: As a part of preparation for the Expo, many grandiose projects have been planned. It will further augment the existing iconic infrastructure of the city. According to reports published last year, Dubai plans to spend USD 2-4 billion in infrastructure for the expo.  This encapsulates- a 400 hectares proposed exhibition city comprised of eight different districts.
  • Direct Employment– According to projections made by Oxford economics, a total of 277,000 exclusive jobs could be generated between 2013 to 2021, to run the event. This is definitely a big number, given the fact that total population of Dubai stand just over 2 million.
  • In Direct Employment– The impacts of the Expo will be realized across sectors and geographies. Besides tourism, in which expos fall under, World 2020 will be closely interlinked with other sectors such real estate, facility management, logistics and retail. Not to mention media and trade. According to Oxford Economics every new job created for EXPO, will eventually support 60 other jobs in UAE & in the pan MENA region.
  • Brand Dubai– In addition to tangible benefits  mentioned above, one of the largest legacy of the expo could be to further reposition Dubai as a global city. Once successfully executed, the expo can  multiply brand value of Dubai manifolds. This should be very beneficial towards all walks of trade, commerce and tourism, even in the post expo era.

    This blog is compiled by Paritosh Kashyap (PK) who is a Marketing Manager @FocusM. He could be reached at or +971 55 6447237, +971 4 3577979