All eyes are on Dubai Expo 2020 where world’s dynamic economies will gather in one place to share ideas, showcase innovation, encourage collaboration and celebrate human ingenuity.
Recently everyone seems to be very much excited about EXPO 2020 in Dubai. “Dubai wins”, these were the words in 2013 which brought about scenes of jubilation both in Paris at the general assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the international organisation responsible for overseeing, regulating and selecting the candidate for the world fair, and in the UAE where residents were waiting for the outcome of the voting of the 164 nation members entitled to vote. Dubai won by a resounding majority with 116 votes, leaving Yekaterinburg, Russia, with only 47.
The total value of major Expo-related construction projects reached Dh156 billion by the end of March 31, 2018. Construction activity in Dubai will remain robust in the next two-and-a-half years with developments related to Expo 2020 being one of the main driving forces behind the sector’s growth.
According to latest data the total value of major Expo-related construction projects reached Dh156 billion ($42.5 billion) by the end of March 31, 2018, driven by both public and private sectors. The majority of these projects are poised to complete before Expo begins in October 2020, resulting in massive job creation as well. The development of Expo 2020 projects will create a low-level skyline as compared to skyscrapers dominating Northern Dubai. The World Expo 2020 Dubai will boost the logistics industry as billions of dollars are being invested in infrastructure and logistics services in preparation for the mega event, according to industry experts. The global Expo aims to bring together over 180 countries and millions of people to celebrate human ingenuity: “Connecting Minds; Creating the Future.” The Dubai government estimate suggests around 25 million people are expected to visit the Expo between its opening day on October 20, 2020, and its close on April 10, 2021. The UAE’s non-oil private sector improved at the fastest rate in four months in May, recording a sharp growth in both output and new orders. According to the report, the strong performance of UAE’s non-oil private sector is a result of sharp improvements in business conditions, above the long-run average of the series. The index showed that new export orders increased at the fastest pace since November 2015, with companies frequently noting improved demand from other countries in the GCC. Additionally, the results showed a strong increase in new project wins and developments, largely related to the upcoming Expo 2020 event in Dubai.
Infrastructure development ahead of the expo, such as new mass transit connections, is the main driver for an upswing in real estate before the event, encouraging property buyers and investors as the economy generally warms up as a direct effect of new and improved urban mobility networks, with significant anticipated appreciation once complete infrastructure is up and running. An expected influx of more than 25 million visitors over the roughly six months of the Expo 2020 and more than 300,000 new jobs to be created, in addition to around 180 exhibiting countries and international organizations attending the event, means large opportunities for hotels, serviced apartments and other residential properties. Rental yields for premium apartments could even double from the current average of around 5 percent in the city, brokers say, particularly in popular and sought-after locations in proximity to the Expo site, including Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Jumeirah Islands and Jumeirah Golf Estates.
The growth in population in Dubai is already outpacing new residential supply by two to one since last year, and this will only intensify as the Expo draws near. The fact that over 58,000 units are scheduled to enter the market between 2019 and 2020 may offset any population surge linked to Expo 2020, but not what comes after that. Dubai Municipality predicts that the city’s population will nearly double from 2.8 million today to five million by 2030, indicating the need for no less than a doubling of the city’s housing stock. Most of the demand is expected to come from the lower to the middle-income bracket, meaning that house price spikes in more affordable communities are foreseeable in the medium to long-term.
Dubai is giving a whole new definition to the word ‘grandiose’ by ensuring the success of the mammoth World Expo 2020.
The first World Expo was held in 1851 at London’s Crystal Palace and was known as The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations. It displayed about 10,000 objects showcasing the inventions from the industrial revolution.
The UAE government has invested a substantial amount of money to ensure the Expo 2020 takes place without a glitch. At the same time, hosting an exhibition of this magnitude gives the UAE an unmatchable opportunity to attract foreign investments and build its core economy rapidly.
Analysts believe that the expo will mainly benefit tourism, hospitality and infrastructure development.
Five key industries will benefit from Dubai hosting Expo 2020. Hospitality, transportation, retail, banking, and finance, as well as real estate and infrastructure, will witness key growth and so will need to expand. A growth in entrepreneurial businesses and the creation of small SMEs is also predicted. Women are also expected to shine during the expo with the higher average levels of educational attainment, greater availability and better workplace skills, more women will choose to join the formal workplace. Skills in customer service, engineering, architecture, and urban planning and infrastructure development are in high demand during the preparation for Expo 2020. This EXPO has become synonymous with exciting exhibitions and business opportunities, and stupendous growth for the host country. One can therefore safely assume that EXPO 2020 to be held in Dubai will be no different. Riding on this euphoria, the authorities are expected to invest more than Dirham Thirty Billion in new infrastructure projects to meet the demands of twenty-five million visitors
Published in Melange Intl. Magazine in July 2018.