The recent article UAE infrastructure being built for EXPO 2020 to be permanent, published in The National, one of the leading UAE news portals, highlights the statement by the Minister of State and Managing Director for the Dubai World EXPO 2020 Reem Al Hashimi. According to the article, the infrastructure built for the upcoming event will be permanent in character, as opposed to the usual strategy of building short-term and cheaper versions designed to serve the purposes of the EXPO and being torn down shortly afterwards. The reason for such an approach, according to Reem Al Hashimi, is the investment into the possibilities the EXPO brings along. She’s also specified her high expectations on the revenues from participants and partners (Kassem 2016).
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Such high expectations are not unreasonable. The current state of the economy of the UAE is, by all means positive. Both the current and the predicted growth rates of the economy exceed those of China (Bouyamourn 2015), one of the exemplary players in the field. Such success, which looks even better when contrasted against the global picture, is attributed mostly to UAE’s diversification of the economy, with moving away from the oil as the main source of revenue and thoughtfully investing into the multitude of fields, including, but not limited to, tourism, hospitality, sports, and the strong emphasis on establishing links with foreign partners.
This allows the country to stay stable, even amidst the oil price crunch. That is not to say it is not felt at all, with certain slowdown observable, but, according to various experts, this slowdown is not a threatening sign and will be overcome fairly quickly (D’Mello 2016).
The country is already investing heavily in the most promising branches. The hospitality sector is experiencing rapid growth, with 96 new hotel projects planned for 2020, with most of them near the EXPO area. This will increase the already impressive number of hotel rooms by a third (Hassan 2015). The corresponding infrastructures, aimed at providing transportation and health care, are also thoroughly planned and invested, with the recent budget allocated for the EXPO exceeding $4 billion (Kassem 2016). Among the most impressive is Route 2020, a 15 KM metro line, which is among the structures that are built as a part of the “Dubai’s vision of growth” (Kassem 2016).
Several steps are also taken towards encouraging international trade. The predicted revenue from easing sanctions on Iran and thus boosting the trade between the countries is $13 billion, which estimates 1 per cent of the nation’s GDP (Saadi 2016). Taking into account the multitude of possibilities presented by the attendance of the EXPO by the foreign investors (25 million visitors are expected, with nearly 70 per cent of them being from the other countries (Butt 2016)), and various steps were taken towards favouring the international relationship, the EXPO 2020 can be named an excellent opportunity for establishing the relationships with the new partners.
In short, the selection of Dubai as a site for the EXPO aligns perfectly with the current trend of economic diversification. It can be deemed both as a cementing factor for the established new directions, as it rises the tourism, entertainment, and hospitality branches, and as a serious boost to the newly taken vector of securing links with investors from other countries.
Bouyamourn, A 2015, Expo to help Dubai to grow faster than China by 2020. Web.
Butt, A 2016, How Dubai’s economic growth could outstrip China’s by 2020. Web.
D’Mello, S 2016, UAE economy to stay resilient. Web.
Hassan, W 2015, EXPO 2020 will continue to fuel economic growth in Dubai. Web.
Kassem, M 2016, UAE infrastructure being built for Expo 2020 to be permanent, says Minister of State. Web.
Saadi, D 2016, Kanoo chairman sees opportunities as Expo 2020 infrastructure projects start. Web.