It’s time to connect minds to create the future

It’s time to connect minds to create the future

Leading businesses welcomed the government’s initiative and said the six-month-long event coinciding with the golden jubilee of the UAE offers big opportunities to private sector and they are ready to grab them.

By Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Sun 26 Apr 2015, 10:47 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 11:44 PM

Better city, better life is over; feeding the planet, energy for life is about to start, but businesses are actually gearing up to realise the theme of Dubai Expo 2020 — “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” — as the government invited them last week to set up effective partnerships to make mega event a success for the country.

Leading businesses welcomed the government’s initiative and said the six-month-long event coinciding with the golden jubilee of the UAE offers big opportunities to private sector and they are ready to grab them.

Businessmen, chief executives and top officials of private sector groups said Dubai will shine as a successful example of modern, sustainable and smart city in next five years. They say public-private sector partnerships will be a win-win situation for all and make the event a “remarkable” growth story.   

Yousufali M.A., managing director of the Lulu Group, said Dubai is hosting the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and the successful event not only will benefit the emirate’s economy, but also lift the whole region.   

“We are an active supporter and participant of the Dubai Expo and will definitely explore the opportunities arising from the mega project,” he said.

Firoz Merchant, chairman and founder of the Pure Gold Group, said Dubai Expo 2020 is a milestone in the history of the emirate in its journey towards new heights of achievements. The historic win has created renewed investor confidence in the UAE economy.

“[The call of] His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to private sector businesses to come forward to make the event a successful and memorable one, will be well-received by all industry sectors as the event will bring more opportunities to businesses in the UAE with the influx of tourists and overall economic growth that it will herald.”

“We plan to invest Dh500 million to expand our local operations in the lead-up to Dubai Expo 2020. While Dh425 million will be invested in Pure Gold Jewellers, Dh75 million will be invested in La Moda Sunglasses, our luxury sunglasses retail chain. We aim to create employment opportunities for around 1,800 to 2,000 people through the investments,” Merchant told Khaleej Times.

Vishesh Bhatia, chief executive of the Jumbo Group, said it is predicted that the exhibition will attract up to 25 million visitors and reports have indicated that over a quarter of a million jobs will be created in the next five years. These figures all point towards the positive outcomes of Expo 2020 for the UAE and investors.

“I expect Expo 2020 to attract a sea of investments to all sectors in the UAE, including retail, enterprise, real estate and hospitality. We are already seeing its impact, with the multiple projects lined up by the government, and the property sector picking up again. This is an enticing opportunity for national and international companies to take part in this surge in investments across these sectors. The prospects are indeed exciting,” he said.

Bhatia said Jumbo Engineering is active in the construction industry, undertaking MEP projects in both the industrial and commercial sectors.

“As Expo 2020 approaches, we are eager to add to the retail sector’s efforts to provide quality products and services to visitors and residents, and ultimately contribute to the progress of the UAE’s economy.”

Tanvir Khawaja, president of Pakistan Business Council Dubai, said the emirate has already installed an excellent infrastructure to welcome tourists from across the globe. He said new developments for World Expo 2020 will not generates hundreds of thousands of jobs, but also help attract 25 million visitors that will play a key role in Dubai economy.

“I believe Expo 2020 will be a great success and offers good business openings. The council is ready to play its key part by involving Pakistani community through a series of seminars to enlighten its members about the opportunities,” Khawaja told Khaleej Times.

“The PBC is also planning to have a close interact with Pakistani chambers so that we could update our Pakistan-based businessmen about investment opportunities arising from the Expo 2020 project.”

Khawaja said Pakistan has been providing highly skilled manpower to the UAE and they can play an important role in the further development of the country. 

“We are sure that this mega event will create more jobs for Pakistanis and the business community will have a good share.”

Niranjan Gidwani, deputy chief executive of the Eros Group, said Expo 2020 will have an unprecedented affect for Dubai and the UAE.

“The work is already on and we have seen a buoyancy and renewed confidence in the country and economy which is great. The city as we know it is once again undergoing a remarkable metamorphoses and we are part of this change and of a history which will take the UAE into a new paradigm of growth and stability,” he said.

“The Eros Group has always aligned itself with the objectives of the country and we are putting all efforts in synergising the organisation with the new vision and plans of the leaders of this country. We are excited and are committed to making Expo 2020 a success and a landmark moment in the UAE history.”

Rajan Mathrani, managing director of Elekta Gulf, said the company is gearing up for Expo 2020 and will add value to Dubai’s offerings by bringing the latest technological innovations that will change the lifestyle of consumers.

“The way technology is progressing, it will be a whole new world in 2020 and we have already started to bring some of those to the homes and offices of consumers now and also making them affordable,” he said.

“By 2020, the world and our lives will undergo lots of changes. New innovative products and services will change the way we live and work. The biggest contribution that a consumer electronics and household brand like Elekta can make is by offering the latest technological innovations at an affordable price.”

“As part of the UAE society, we are aligning our business in line with the vision of the UAE government and we will be very much part of the Expo 2020 success story,” he added.

Dubai Expo 2020 facts and figures:

Dates and times

>>        Opening day: October 20, 2020

>>        Closing day: April 10, 2021

>>        The year 2021 will mark the UAE’s 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee celebrations.

>>        Daily hours: 10am-2am

Site and Visitors

>>        Location: Dubai Expo 2020 — Jebel Ali, within Dubai World Central.

>>        Total site size: 438 hectares

>>        Gated exhibition area: approximately 200 hectares

>>        Expected attendance: 25 million total visits over event’s six months

>>        70% of visitors expected to be international visitors

>>        Site will accommodate 250,000 people per day

>>        30,000 volunteers will be recruited and utilised

>>        Dubai Expo 2020 will be the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia


>>        The three sub-themes — Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability — converge at the central Al Wasl Plaza, the figurative and literal heart of Dubai Expo 2020

>>        Al Wasl, meaning ‘the connection’, is Dubai’s historic name.

>>        Approximately 250 participants, ranging from countries to corporations to civic organisations, will take part in pavilions at Dubai Expo 2020

>>        One country, one pavilion policy will be introduced — A first for World Expos

>>        The average size of pavilions will range from one tennis court (250 sqm) to 16 tennis courts (4,200 sqm).

>>        Dubai Expo 2020 will build a host of mega pavilions including: the hero UAE Pavilion, one for each of the sub-themes of Opportunity Mobility and Sustainability, as well as a dedicated Children’s Pavilion.

>>        The iconic shade structure is one of the wow factors of the expo. The design resembles the feather of a falcon, the UAE’s national bird, and covers much of the site. The underside of the structure provides a canvas for projections and interactive technology for entertainment, and attractions, creating an engaging experience for visitors.

>>        Dubai Expo 2020 hopes to generate 50 per cent of the site’s energy needs over its six-month duration from renewable sources like solar power.

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