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Creating value a key aim of Dubai Expo 2020: Shaikh Ahmed

The full interview with Shaikh Ahmed appears in “The Report: Dubai 2015”, OBG’s latest report on the emirate’s economy.

By (Staff Report)

Published: Wed 10 Jun 2015, 11:51 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:18 PM

dubai — Implementing a strong legacy strategy that will benefit both participants and the local economy is a key component of Dubai’s Expo 2020 preparations, said Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the event’s Preparatory Higher Committee.

Shaikh Ahmed told global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group, or OBG, that thinking past Expo 2020 Dubai and going “beyond the physical assets being developed onsite” had been a focus, back even when the emirate made its initial bid to host the world fair.

“Investment from countries and corporations in their Expo participation is often significant and it is critical that we provide an after-use plan for some of their assets where possible,” said Shaikh Ahmed, who is also President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Emirates airline and Chief Executive of the Emirates Group.

Shaikh Ahmed said legacy plans currently under consideration were aimed at creating value for both participants and the local economy. “For example, by keeping pavilion structures on the Expo site or moving them to a different part of the city, region or world, we can create a lasting platform of the shared experiences, connections and partnerships that have developed through Expo 2020 Dubai,” he said.

The full interview with Shaikh Ahmed appears in “The Report: Dubai 2015”, OBG’s latest report on the emirate’s economy.

Dubai’s preparations for Expo 2020 are gathering momentum. Last month saw the emirate launch a business engagement programme aimed at encouraging regional and global enterprises to invest in the expo, while a business procurement portal and a commercial sponsorship programme have also been rolled out.

The government is targeting 25 million visitors, including 17 million from overseas, for the world fair, Shaikh Ahmed told OBG. Organisers expect Expo 2020 Dubai to yield economic benefits of around $18.7 billion by 2021, creating approximately 275,000 jobs in the run-up. Analysts, meanwhile, calculate that the fair will require some $8 billion in investment.

Shaikh Ahmed said infrastructure had a key role to play in helping the expo reach its potential. “We now have two airports on offer… a new regional railway system will be in place, and the UAE will continue to serve as a significant port of call for international shipping and logistics,” he said.

He told OBG that energising research and innovation in the main thematic areas of the expo dovetailed with the objectives mapped out in Dubai’s master plan. Dubai Expo 2020, he explained, was expected to act as a driver for the emirate’s educational and cultural outreach agenda, providing knowledge-creation platforms and encouraging theme-led research and innovation.

Expo team updates BIE General Assembly

The Expo 2020 Dubai team shared an update on the status of its preparations with the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions, or BIE, the intergovernmental organisation in charge of overseeing the organisation of World and International Expos, in Paris on Tuesday.

The gathering marks the last update prior to the submission of the Expo 2020 Dubai registration document to the assembly, a fundamental part of the series of requirements for the official designation as the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and Southern Asia region.

“We are proud of the foundations we have laid to deliver an exceptional Expo. In less than two years, we have established a solid governance structure, developed a robust strategy and team, and have a nation eager to host an extraordinary first World Expo for the region,” said Manal AlBayat, vice-president of Engagement for Expo 2020 Dubai.

In her presentation, AlBayat provided the General Assembly with a detailed overview of the upcoming registration document. The complete document will include a thorough brief of the Expo 2020 Dubai organisational and operational structure, policies, procedures, theme narrative and legacy plans.

“The BIE General Assembly can be assured that Expo 2020 Dubai will achieve our objectives, produce an Expo that will transform the UAE and the region, and leave a substantive global impact,” AlBayat added.


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