DUBAI: The high-profile visiting country delegates, from the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the inter-governmental organisation based in Paris that is responsible for World Expo have been particularly impressed by the country’s robust infrastructure and the level of national support for the bid.
“The UAE has put forward a strong case to hold Expo 2020 in Dubai — the vision of the project is clear and lined to the traditions and values of World Expos,” said Steen Christensen Chairman of the BIE Executive Committee, of the Enquiry Mission during a well attended press conference at the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel.
Christensen, who lead a nine-member BIE team also highlighted that the UAE has been an active participant to several Expos, noting that the country has won prizes for their pavilion at the past 3 Expos.
“The visit to Dubai has given me a very positive impression of the country and the people and in that regard, it has been a very good and enjoyful experience,” he added.
The team wind-up their four-day tour to the UAE, as Dubai Expo 2020 now focuses on the next nine months, when the final winner will be conceived in November this year, following a vote by the 163 member nations of the BIE.
The UAE is competing against four other candidate cities bidding to host the 2020 edition of this monumental global gathering.
The Enquiry Mission team had during their tour, met with the country’s government and business leaders and assessed the UAE’s ability to welcome the 25 million expected visitors, of which 70 per cent would come from outside the nation for the first time in World Expo history.
“If our country’s bid is successful, a World Expo in Dubai will attract new opportunities across the region and around the world, establishing new partnerships and creating a lasting experience for everyone who visits and participates,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority in his capacity as Chairman of the Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo in Dubai.
Sheikh Ahmed while also addressing the press conference on Thursday, went on to mention that an economic impact study by Oxford Economics into Dubai Expo 2020 concludes that the total economic output across the Dubai economy would amount to 28.8 billion Euros, and would create over 277,000 jobs between 2013 and 2021. “Importantly, for every Expo employee, approximately 50 additional jobs will be sustained across the Middle East and North African economy,” he added.
Sheikh Ahmed further emphasised that the Expo would provide a ‘significant boost to not just the national GDP, but also leave a lasting legacy for a generation to come in the UAE and the wider region and the world.’
As a result of the visit, the Enquiry Mission will prepare a report detailing their recommendation to all BIE member states as to whether Dubai and the UAE would be a feasible host for the World Expo 2020. The report will be presented at the next BIE General Assembly in Paris in June 2013.
The World Expo is one of the largest global, non-commercial events in terms of economic and cultural impact, after the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games.
The other four candidate countries are Ayutthaya in Thailand, Sao Paulo in Brazil, Yekaterinburg in Russia and Izmir in Turkey. who have all officially bid to host the World Expo 2020.
The Enquiry Mission is yet to carry out its visit to two more candidate countries namely Brazil and Russia, before submitting the final report.
If the UAE’s bid will be successful, it will be the first expo for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The most recent World Expo was held in Shanghai in 2010.
Earlier on Thursday, the BIE delegation visited visited Jebel Ali port particularly the DP World and its customers, to see first-hand the supply chain capabilities of the UAE as it bids to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai. The delegation was received by Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World.
Accompanying the BIE team was also Reem Al Hashimi, UAE Minister of State and Managing Director of the Higher Committee for hosting the World Expo 2020.
DP World operates over 60 terminals across six continents, with container handling generating around 80 per cent of its revenue. In addition, the company currently has 11 new developments and major expansions underway in 9 countries.
“Here in Dubai, we provide mobility for business and trade through multi-modal access to global markets as a trusted and responsive partner to all those involved in the supply chain — and it’s a model we use in other parts of our global portfolio as well,” said Sulayem as he took the team around.