DUBAIíS bid to host the World Expo 2020 has once again put the spotlight on the cityís tremendous value differentials.
As Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Chairman of the Higher Committee for Hosting the Expo, observed at the reception ceremony for the Bureau International des Expositions executive committee, the city will offer nothing but the best for the international event.
The promise of ‘only the best’ has been the distinguishing feature of Dubai’s growth story. Seldom in the world has a city evolved at such breathtaking speed without compromising on the quality of life of its people. With more than 200 nationalities living in harmony, the UAE is a true microcosm of the global village. People from across the world find a warm welcome in the emirates.
As a city that connects the East and West, and with its strategic geographic location enabling more than 2.5 billion people to access the city in less than four hours of flying time, Dubai’s credentials for hosting an international event are unparalleled and, indeed, unmatched.
Connectivity is arguably the biggest draw for any international event. The World Expo stands to gain a significant boost in terms of participation in a city such as Dubai that is well-linked to the rest of the world.
Dubai, in turn, has upped the ante to ensure that visitors to the city will have the ‘best’ experience through infrastructure development projects that will further build on its already-impressive achievements.
In addition to a planned new and extensive exhibition space, the city is already investing in strengthening its physical infrastructure to match its economic growth.
As the region’s business and tourism hub and a highly competitive economy that catalyses business growth, Dubai fits in seamlessly with the central goal of the World Expo to jumpstart businesses by creating new partnerships and markets.
But it is more than the ‘hardware’ of Dubai — its malls, hotels, airports, ports, roads and telecom connectivity — that makes the World Expo bid by the city relevant. In fact, over the years, host cities have leveraged the World Expo to highlight their industrial and economic strengths.
With Dubai, the infrastructure aspects are but an ideal complement to the soft power of the city. The pillars of the knowledge economy that Dubai has strengthened in the past years will be the key differential of the city in welcoming the world for Expo 2020.
This is encapsulated in the theme of Dubai’s bid: ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.’ This means, fostering a spirit of global collaboration, bringing together the world’s brightest minds, and drawing on the creative insights of our youth, who are the future audience of the Expo.
Some seven years later, a new generation of youngsters will be at the helm of businesses. Their aspirations for growth will be defined by new priorities that are led by a focus on innovation and sustainability.
A city that has set the benchmarks in soft power development and in investing in our future, naturally, is the ideal choice for the World Expo 2020.
Let the world decide: Dubai is optimistic.