The UAE economy, and Dubai in particular, is expected to gain a huge economic windfall after Dubai won the right on Wednesday night to host Expo 2020.
UAE, the host country, beat contenders from Brazil, Russia and Turkey after leading a well orchestrated campaign which won early endorsements from the United Kingdom and Canada among others. The world fair to be staged in 2020 will involve major preparations, including construction of new infrastructure, and will attract between 25 and 100 million new visitors, and create more than 277,000 jobs.
Celebrations erupted all over the UAE on Wednesday night after the news was relayed from Paris where the final voting was taking place. A major fireworks display was initiated at Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building in celebration, while Thursday was declared a national holiday for all educational institutions across the UAE.
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum dedicated the emirate’s win to the country’s President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the people of the United Arab Emirates.
“We renew our promise to astonish the world in 2020. Dubai will bring to life our vision: Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. Our goal is to build a better future for the region’s youth,” Sheik Mohammed said. “Dubai Expo 2020 will breathe new life into the ancient role of the Middle East as a melting pot for cultures and creativity.”
Dubai downed Sao Paulo, Brazil’s capital and largest country, Ekaterinburg of Russia and Izmir in Turkey, for the right to host the coveted event, which will now be held in a Middle East destination for the first time.
According to Oxford Economics the event will contribute close to $40 billion to Dubai’s GDP and create 277,000 jobs over the next seven years.