The 2020 World Expo is expected to be one of the largest events of its kind ever seen in the Arab world, with over 170 nations taking part, including the UK, US, Germany, Sweden, Chile and Nigeria, and is set to boost the UAE's global reputation, encourage economic and cultural growth and, as promised by Dubai, leave a long-lasting legacy.
According to Gillian Hamburger, senior vice-president of commercial at Expo 2020 Dubai: "By working with some of the world's most innovative companies, we will ensure that Expo 2020 is a truly global event that captures the sense of wonder, excitement and fun that characterised history's greatest World Expos."
Some 25 million people are estimated to visit Expo 2020 in Dubai between October 2020 and April 2021, which is already having an economic impact. Straight after the successful bid, there was a 4 per cent increase on the Emirates stock index, the first time since 2008 that the index surpassed the 3,000-point level.
Indeed, Dubai will capture the world's attention before, during and after Expo2020. The positive impact of this global event on the emirate's economy will be substantial.
More than 275,000 jobs will be created and demand will receive a significant boost in all key sectors such as real estate, tourism, hospitality, retail, education, technology, manufacturing and healthcare.
It's because of this comprehensive, sustainable impact that GDP growth in Dubai is likely to accelerate well over the year's 3.5 per cent estimate. The economic growth will also drive demand within Dubai's financial sector.
Expo 2020 is set to showcase Dubai's characteristic appeal for foreign investment, predominantly due to the pro-business government, independent financial regulator, global financial exchange, high number of HNWIs, dynamic business community, world-class telecommunications and infrastructure, the fact English is widely spoken, as well as the desirable geographical location and time zone.
I have previously put my head above the parapet and publicly said that it's my view that over the next 10 years, we can expect the UAE to be within the world's top 10 international financial hubs. It'll be in direct competition against stalwarts such as London, New York and Hong Kong.
Furthermore, the UAE's position will be strengthened with the recently introduced legislation, allowing expatriates to remain in the country long after retirement, which could help to drive Dubai and Abu Dhabi up the world's top 10 global financial centre rankings.
Indeed, although Dubai is already seen as one of the most powerful financial centres in the world, this new legislation, and of course the upcoming Expo 2020, will bolster this view globally in an unprecedented way.
In short, the colossal value that Expo 2020 provides will support diversification and further enhance existing sectors within the UAE. Its positive impact will serve not only the domestic economy but also the wider region and will last for decades to come.
The writer is founder and CEO of deVere Group. Views expressed by the author are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.
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