Edward Gallagher, the business development director of De Boer, says countries are being steered towards the principle that ‘if you don’t need it, then do not build it permanently’. Satish Kumar / The National
Edward Gallagher, the business development director of De Boer, says countries are being steered towards the principle that ‘if you don’t need it, then do not build it permanently’. Satish Kumar / The

Dubai is shrewdly using Expo 2020 to invest in future infrastructure



Dubai Expo 2020 has made clear its commitment to build permanent infrastructure within the 160,000 square metre site. In Dubai’s 2016 budget, announced in December, the emirate increased its provision for infrastructure, transport and economics to Dh16.6 billion, a rise of Dh1.8bn from last year, to help finance this. Here, Edward Gallagher, the business development director of De Boer – a global leader in building high-end, non-permanent structures for some of the world’s biggest events – reveals more about the temporary versus permanent debate for large-scale international showcases.

What do you think of Dubai's Expo decision to make the infrastructure permanent?

It’s always exciting to hear more news about Expo 2020 and we all know Dubai will put on a spectacular show. What makes the difference on this occasion is that Dubai is a growing emirate which is shrewdly using the event to invest in infrastructure that will be used by the city as it continues to advance and expand. The three winning designs for Dubai Expo 2020 structures that were subsequently announced and awarded to leading architects look stunning and will no doubt be fantastic additions to the futuristic buildings already in place around the city. With the vision and future growth of Dubai and the UAE assured, it is unlikely those structures will lie empty and gather dust after the event. This has happened in the past after Expos and other similar mega-events, and remains a real risk for other countries looking to become future hosts.

What can be done to ensure these risks are mitigated?

If you look to the guidance from Expo organisers, Bureau International des Expositions, potential host countries must follow several steps to ensure permanent elements can be revitalising for an area. A team must also be in place to guarantee management of the post-Expo plan. There are similar conditions in place from other major international events, such as the Olympic Committee and Fifa. Harsh lessons have been learnt and countries are being steered towards the principle that “if you don’t need it, then do not build it permanently”. In recent history, the negative impact to countries such as Greece, China and Brazil of building facilities for international events at astronomical cost, only to leave behind decaying stadiums, is something everyone now wants to avoid. At the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, more than $10bn was spent on infrastructure and now most of those venues are abandoned and crumbling. Beijing suffered from similar problems after the 2008 Olympic Games. China’s capital now has a $55 million rowing park in disuse, empty cycling tracks covered in weeds and the centrepiece Bird’s Nest national stadium is struggling to fill its events calendar.

What has been learnt from the world’s biggest sporting event, the Olympic Games?

Central to the cure in the IOC’s recent call for change is the principle of “maximum use of existing facilities and the use of temporary and demountable venues”. While it has long been standard practice to use temporary infrastructure for hospitality and back-of-house facilities, the systems and technologies available now mean whole stadiums can be built from more cost-effective modular systems, which are removed and reused after the event, resulting in no ongoing costs. At the London 2012 Olympics, considered to be a fantastic success for the event and its legacy planning, just eight of the 34 venues were newly built. All the others were existing or temporary structures.

What permanent structures built for major events have been a success?

There can be no greater physical embodiment of a World Expo legacy than the Eiffel Tower. It was the Exposition Universale of 1889 that gave Gustave Eiffel the opportunity to design his temporary structure. More than 100 years later it still commands the Parisian skyline. London’s Great Exhibition of 1851 also left a lasting architectural gem in the spectacular Crystal Palace alongside other cultural institutions along Exhibition Road in South Kensington, an area that has become a tourist trap in itself, nicknamed Albertopolis, after Queen Victoria’s husband. More recently and hot on the heels of the Beijing Olympics, Shanghai’s 2010 Expo was the biggest in history, spread across an area five times the size of Milan’s 2015 Expo, at a cost of $50bn. The Chinese pavilion has since been converted into a fantastic art museum.

Why did Qatar not commit to the permanent structure path for the 2022 World Cup?

It appears there is not the ongoing requirement in Qatar as there is in Dubai for the same volume of permanent stadiums, infrastructure and facilities. This worked in Qatar’s favour, as its mixed temporary-permanent approach was cited by Fifa as one of the key success factors its bid to host the 2022 World Cup. Qatar has eight new stadiums planned, reduced from the initial 12. Six are being built and upgrades to two existing stadiums are also under way. The ambitious 40,000-seat Qatar Foundation stadium, which will be fully demountable, is being redesigned and may go out to re-tender soon. Qatar’s Supreme Committee has also been busy planning a host of temporary facilities, including accommodation, medical centres, hospitality and fan zones.

business@thenational.ae

Follow The National's Business section on Twitter

Forced Deportations

While the Lebanese government has deported a number of refugees back to Syria since 2011, the latest round is the first en-mass campaign of its kind, say the Access Center for Human Rights, a non-governmental organization which monitors the conditions of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

“In the past, the Lebanese General Security was responsible for the forced deportation operations of refugees, after forcing them to sign papers stating that they wished to return to Syria of their own free will. Now, the Lebanese army, specifically military intelligence, is responsible for the security operation,” said Mohammad Hasan, head of ACHR.
In just the first four months of 2023 the number of forced deportations is nearly double that of the entirety of 2022.

Since the beginning of 2023, ACHR has reported 407 forced deportations – 200 of which occurred in April alone.

In comparison, just 154 people were forcfully deported in 2022.

Violence

Instances of violence against Syrian refugees are not uncommon.

Just last month, security camera footage of men violently attacking and stabbing an employee at a mini-market went viral. The store’s employees had engaged in a verbal altercation with the men who had come to enforce an order to shutter shops, following the announcement of a municipal curfew for Syrian refugees.
“They thought they were Syrian,” said the mayor of the Nahr el Bared municipality, Charbel Bou Raad, of the attackers.
It later emerged the beaten employees were Lebanese. But the video was an exemplary instance of violence at a time when anti-Syrian rhetoric is particularly heated as Lebanese politicians call for the return of Syrian refugees to Syria.

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

ESSENTIALS

The flights 
Emirates, Etihad and Swiss fly direct from the UAE to Zurich from Dh2,855 return, including taxes.
 

The chalet
Chalet N is currently open in winter only, between now and April 21. During the ski season, starting on December 11, a week’s rental costs from €210,000 (Dh898,431) per week for the whole property, which has 22 beds in total, across six suites, three double rooms and a children’s suite. The price includes all scheduled meals, a week’s ski pass, Wi-Fi, parking, transfers between Munich, Innsbruck or Zurich airports and one 50-minute massage per person. Private ski lessons cost from €360 (Dh1,541) per day. Halal food is available on request.

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League quarter-final, second leg (first-leg score):

Manchester City (0) v Tottenham Hotspur (1), Wednesday, 11pm UAE

Match is on BeIN Sports

Takreem Awards winners 2021

Corporate Leadership: Carl Bistany (Lebanon)

Cultural Excellence: Hoor Al Qasimi (UAE)

Environmental Development and Sustainability: Bkerzay (Lebanon)

Environmental Development and Sustainability: Raya Ani (Iraq)

Humanitarian and Civic Services: Women’s Programs Association (Lebanon)

Humanitarian and Civic Services: Osamah Al Thini (Libya)

Excellence in Education: World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) (Qatar)

Outstanding Arab Woman: Balghis Badri (Sudan)

Scientific and Technological Achievement: Mohamed Slim Alouini (KSA)

Young Entrepreneur: Omar Itani (Lebanon)

Lifetime Achievement: Suad Al Amiry (Palestine)

The biog

Favourite colour: Brown

Favourite Movie: Resident Evil

Hobbies: Painting, Cooking, Imitating Voices

Favourite food: Pizza

Trivia: Was the voice of three characters in the Emirati animation, Shaabiyat Al Cartoon

Most match wins on clay

Guillermo Vilas - 659

Manuel Orantes - 501

Thomas Muster - 422

Rafael Nadal - 399 *

Jose Higueras - 378

Eddie Dibbs - 370

Ilie Nastase - 338

Carlos Moya - 337

Ivan Lendl - 329

Andres Gomez - 322

Small Victories: The True Story of Faith No More by Adrian Harte
Jawbone Press

The permutations for UAE going to the 2018 World Cup finals

To qualify automatically

UAE must beat Iraq.

Australia must lose in Japan and at home to Thailand, with their losing margins and the UAE's winning margin over Iraq being enough to overturn a goal difference gap of eight.

Saudi Arabia must lose to Japan, with their losing margin and the UAE's winning margin over Iraq being enough to overturn a goal difference gap of eight.

To finish third and go into a play-off with the other third-placed AFC side for a chance to reach the inter-confederation play-off match

UAE must beat Iraq.

Saudi Arabia must lose to Japan, with their losing margin and the UAE's winning margin over Iraq being enough to overturn a goal difference gap of eight.

What is a robo-adviser?

Robo-advisers use an online sign-up process to gauge an investor’s risk tolerance by feeding information such as their age, income, saving goals and investment history into an algorithm, which then assigns them an investment portfolio, ranging from more conservative to higher risk ones.

These portfolios are made up of exchange traded funds (ETFs) with exposure to indices such as US and global equities, fixed-income products like bonds, though exposure to real estate, commodity ETFs or gold is also possible.

Investing in ETFs allows robo-advisers to offer fees far lower than traditional investments, such as actively managed mutual funds bought through a bank or broker. Investors can buy ETFs directly via a brokerage, but with robo-advisers they benefit from investment portfolios matched to their risk tolerance as well as being user friendly.

Many robo-advisers charge what are called wrap fees, meaning there are no additional fees such as subscription or withdrawal fees, success fees or fees for rebalancing.

The end of Summer

Author: Salha Al Busaidy

Pages: 316

Publisher: The Dreamwork Collective 

Alita: Battle Angel

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Stars: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Keean Johnson

Four stars

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

if you go

Latest
Most Read
Top Videos