Dubai will be the first city in the MENA region to host the World EXPO, the highly celebrated international exhibition, if it wins the bid on the night of November 27th. With a smartly calibrated blueprint and a long term vision, UAE launched the country’s campaign to host the 2020 World EXPO two years ago. The official intention to bid was submitted under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai with a simple and effective theme: Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.
According to an Al Masah Capital report, published on the eve of the announcement, the analysis looks into the potential of a Dubai win, the possible repercussions of a Dubai win as well as the history of the Expo and its profound legacy. In essence, this 3rd largest global non-commercial event, following only the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup in terms of size and significance, is a win-win situation for the Emirate.
“With its level of infrastructure and the international branding synonymous with excellence, Dubai will come out on top regardless of the outcome of the bid,” said Shailesh Dash, CEO of Al Masah. “when you see the larger picture the very fact that it is on the shortlist has already contributed tangibly to its image and the world now knows that Dubai is a viable place for investment, for work and for any major event to be staged,” Al Masah added. “Our analysis show that the total combined effort will not be in vain”, he added, “according to our study, the combined immediate output and historical legacy from the Expo bid will be profoundly positive and will serve as an engine of sustainable growth and progress for not only Dubai but the UAE in general as well as providing an indelible progressive image of the MENA region that is vastly different from general world-view & perception,” Al Masah concluded.
The World EXPO is held every five years and attracts millions of visitors to the host city during its six-month duration. More than displaying major technological novelties, the EXPOs role is oriented toward interpreting the collective challenges that humanity is faced with in current conditions and environments. In the words of Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales, Secretary-General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), The EXPOs are unique events of international cooperation dedicated to the communication of innovation and promotion of a global dialogue on themes that engage the entire world community.
The Al Masah Capital report highlights how the EXPOs have given the world some of its most memorable landmarks and inventions. One of the most famous international structures, the Eiffel Tower, was commissioned as the entrance archway to the Paris EXPO in 1889, so were the Space Needle (Seattle EXPO in 1962) and the Atomium (Brussels EXPO in 1958).EXPOs have been famous for introducing the public to an eclectic range of discoveries and inventions including the telephone, the commercial typewriter, automatic windows, superhighway system, sky train, and edible ice-cream cone.
The last World EXPO was held between May 1, 2010 and October 31, 2010 in Shanghai, China. The Shanghai World EXPO, which cost $4.2bn according to government figures, set many records. It involved the largest number of countries (192 countries and 50 international organizations), received 73 million visitors, and was the most expensive.
The Al Masah Capital report is very clear about the advantage of playing host to this unique exhibition. The report underscores the role it plays in building infrastructure. EXPOs work as economic catalysts as they generate economic benefits for the host country in the form of increased tourism, job opportunities, and hospitality revenues. They also provide financial benefits, both during the run up to the event and after it, in terms of large construction activity, and investments from outside the country, among others. EXPOs have aided physical redevelopment of host nations and cities. EXPO Montreal 1967, for instance, led to the construction of structures such as the D?rie Autoroute and the Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine Bridge and tunnel, which were essential to Montreal’s subsequent growth. The 1988 EXPO in Brisbane, Australia, witnessed the laying of nearly 2,000 kilometers of telecommunications wire. EXPOs have been useful for branding of the host country/city. For instance, the Eiffel Tower, one of the most recognizable structures in the world, was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World EXPO in Paris, France.
The report sums up the Dubai bid in a succinct and direct fashion. Connecting Minds, Creating the Future refers to three concrete domains that shape the priorities of each country: mobility, sustainability, and opportunity. These three are key sub-themes of the World EXPO 2020, Mobility, Sustainability & Opportunity as well and will be the core driver of growth and prosperity since efficient logistics and transportation systems are the lifelines that connect people, goods, and services around the world. As the worlds markets continue to grow and interact, new sources of innovation are required to create more integrated solutions. Innovation in the production, delivery, and consumption of water and energy is becoming increasingly important. Improving access to these precious natural resources through responsible conservation and effective management, as well as embracing a culture of sustainability, are important goals for all countries. Given the backdrop of recent global financial crisis and the fact that more emerging countries are joining the world economy, there is a growing need for new universal models for sustainable economic development and financial stability.
Keeping these factors in mind, Al Masah Capital’s research note shows that Dubai has a leading edge and a compelling reason to be the rightful host of the Expo 2020. It has the right mindset, certified security, incomparable safety and splendid mobility. The city is ready to welcome the world.