Expo 2020: 190 countries confirm participation in the mega event in Dubai

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Master Plan of Expo2020 Dubai site.

Staff Report

The Expo 2020 Dubai will be a great success with the overwhelming participation as 190 nations have confirmed their participation, surpassing UAE’s target of 180 at time of bid. The mega expo site will continue drive sectors like hospitality, travel and tourism, aviation, construction, retail and real estate, among others.

Expo 2020 Dubai will continue to drive the UAE’s economic growth even after the event, boost various sectors and attract consistent flow of tourists for many decades to come.

Since the Expo 2020 site will be transformed into a legacy for tourist attraction, the site will continue to generate substantial economic activity for the emirate, driving sectors like hospitality, travel and tourism, aviation, construction, retail and real estate, among others.

The success of the mega event can be gauged from the fact that 190 nations had confirmed their participation in the exhibition on Sunday, surpassing the UAE’s target of 180 countries at the time of bid.

Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of the Expo 2020 Bureau, had said last year that almost all African nations would participate in the event as bilateral relations between the UAE and African countries are growing economically. On Sunday, she revealed that many of the Caribbean nations would also take part in the mega exhibition that will attract 25 million visitors from across the globe.

In the past year, around 40 countries confirmed their participation; 150 nations had confirmed by November 2017 to have a presence. Most of the major countries in Asia, Africa, Europe the and Middle East have confirmed for the Expo.

“In less than two years’ time, Expo 2020 Dubai will welcome the international community to the UAE for a six-month celebration of human ingenuity and progress, allowing millions of people to experience the world in one place,” said Al Hashimy.

“Confirming 190 international participants is a further testament to the UAE’s stature on the international stage and demonstrates the world’s confidence in the UAE’s ability to bring the world together.”

Vicente Loscertales, secretary-general of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the governing body of World Expos, said in the next few days, Expo 2020 Dubai will take participants through all the aspects of the preparation and implementation to deliver a transformative event that will have a significant impact on the host city and nation, youth and the world.

It is estimated that the mega event will generate 275,000 direct jobs to host the six-month-long exhibition.

According to project research and intelligence provider BNC Network, the value of all projects related to Expo 2020 Dubai had touched Dh122 billion in last year, including transport infrastructure, roads networks, several highways, interchanges and expansion of the Dubai Metro to connect to the Expo 2020 site and Al Maktoum airport. Also under contracts are mixed-use projects, residential, commercial hospitality and golf courses.

BNC estimated that projects would create 500,000 direct or indirect jobs in multiple sectors of the country.

Khatija Haque, head of Mena research at Emirates NBD, said in the Dubai Economy Tracker Index for October that firms remained highly optimistic about future output, however, with many citing Expo 2020 projects and marketing initiatives as reasons for expected higher output in one year’s time.

“Expo 2020 projects were cited as a key reason for optimism in the construction sector,” she said in the note. -abdulbasit@theuaenews.com