Dubai Expo 2020 win will hand housing and jobs boost for whole of UAE

The emirate’s bid for Expo 2020 should be viewed as a national bid because of the potential economic benefits for the rest of the country, an analyst says.
Masdar City was one of the places that visiting officials of the Bureau International des Expositions, the world’s fair awarding body, visited in Abu Dhabi, in addition to key locations in Dubai and Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation. Ravindranath K / The National
Masdar City was one of the places that visiting officials of the Bureau International des Expositions, the world’s fair awarding body, visited in Abu Dhabi, in addition to key locations in Dubai and Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation. Ravindranath K / The National

DUBAI // The UAE has been urged to view Dubai’s bid for Expo 2020 as a national effort because of the potential economic benefits for the rest of the country.

A raft of new infrastructure developments are pinned to the success of Dubai’s bid for the world fair.

That will have long-term economic benefits for Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, not only in boosting the property market but in creating new jobs, said Matthew Green, head of research at the property services company CBRE.

“It’s always the case that when things are going well in Dubai, there tends to be a ripple effect out to other emirates,” he said.

“If Dubai wins, it stands to benefit most, but there are likely to be positive effects, as greater infrastructure work in Dubai may benefit companies in Abu Dhabi, in Sharjah or Ajman. That could result in more employment opportunities.

“It has very much been marketed as a Dubai bid but perhaps what’s been going on in the background, in terms of national support, is not so obvious.”

That wider national support was obvious when delegates from the world fair supervisory body, the Bureau International des Expositions, visited the UAE.

In addition to key locations in Dubai, the 250 officials visited both Masdar City and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

They also visited the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation.

A spokesman for Masdar said the organisation supported the Dubai Expo campaign because hosting the world fair in the UAE would help drive forward the country’s sustainability goals.

“Masdar is proud to support the Dubai Expo 2020 campaign, whose sub-theme of sustainability and focus on energy and water resources are directly in line with the UAE’s sustainable economic growth initiatives,” the spokesman said.

“Holding the Expo in the UAE under the theme of building international partnerships to create lasting solutions can support Masdar’s mission to invest, incubate and establish the new energy industry here and around the world, and extend the UAE’s energy leadership beyond hydrocarbon exports.”

A Bureau International des Expositions spokesman in Paris, where the host city will be announced on November 27, said the Dubai bid had always been viewed as a national bid from the UAE, rather than a city bid from Dubai.

“This is the same situation for all candidates,” the spokesman said. “The bidding is always at the national level.”

He said that when candidates give presentations to the Bureau assembly, the order of presentations are alphabetically based on the country name, rather than the city name.

That is why theme symposiums were held in the order of Sao Paulo (Brazil), Yekaterinburg (Russia), Izmir (Turkey) and finally Dubai (UAE), rather than Dubai being the first.

In addition, most of the negotiations between BIE and host candidates were conducted at the senior governmental level, rather than at the municipal level.

“The national government plays a fundamental role,” the spokesman said.

“The candidate city is not accepted if there’s no approval or support from the federal or national government.”

mcroucher@thenational.ae

Published: October 31, 2013 04:00 AM

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