UAE Inching towards winning World EXPO 2020

Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

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Most recently, more than 250 representatives from the 167 member nations of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the international organisation that oversees World Expo, visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They inspected the Dubai Expo 2020 Theme Symposium, entitled ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future: Partnerships for Global Innovation and Sustainable Development’.

The theme symposium gave an opportunity to the UAE to further demonstrate how its theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, raises relevant and global issues for the member states of the BIE in order to leave a lasting legacy that directly benefits communities around the world. The subthemes of ‘Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity’ represented the cross-cutting challenges we all face and must tackle together if we are to be successful in finding the solutions for sustainable development to drive future progress.

The symposium allowed the BIE representatives to witness and experience the unique advantages that the UAE offers as a potential host nation, including the country’s stability and safety, its open and dynamic economic environment, the readiness of its infrastructure and the overwhelming public support for the bid.

The officials showed satisfaction on the ongoing diversified but integrated activities, initiatives and policy measures to make the dream of holding World EXPO 2020 a reality. They spoke high about the strong political commitment, surplus of finances, construction of infrastructure, pursuits of green energy mix, ideal location of the site plan and above all massive eagerness of the decision makers and the general people at large towards the winning of World Expo 2020 bid. The Dubai Expo bid represents a real embodiment of the leadership’s wise vision to create channels of cultural, humanitarian, scientific and economic communication and encourage intellectual and cultural understanding among all peoples of the world.

Now it is the matter of few more days officially to announce the winner of the World EXPO 2020 and definitely UAE, Dubai will be the ultimate victor. Because, it has a solid economy, a multi-cultural social fabric and strategic location, as well as a state-of-the-art infrastructure, remarkable logistics capabilities, and extensive expertise in organizing world-class events.

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Other candidates are Sao Paulo (Brazil), Yekaterinburg (Russia) and Izmir (Turkey). But socio-economic and geo-political situation of them are not up to the mark which may be one of the main concerns of the BIE in awarding World EXPO 2020. On the part of the UAE, Dubai, the level of political stability, socio-economic sustainability and booming tourism industry would be an add value in its candidature of the World EXPO 2020. Moreover, its strong and stable macro-economy and fast growing banking industry would create its comparative advantage as compare to other three candidate cities. Dubai flourishing service sector, marketing strategies, Public Relations campaigns and its rich experience to hold different regional and international conferences, expos and events has already cemented its chances of winning the race. Active participation of its corporate sector, private sector, culture, media, and above all rigorous commercial diplomacy has already put it far ahead to the three candidate cities. The combined effort of the entire nation and collective indigenous wisdom of the UAE and Dubai brighten its chances of winning the World EXPO 2020.

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On diplomatic front, Canada, France, United Kingdom and many more have already extended their support of Dubai’s bid to host World Expo 2020. Countries of Asia, and Africa and even Latin America have pledged their support for Dubai’s bid World Expo 2020. Successful endeavors of the foreign ministry led my His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and Managing Director of the Dubai Expo 2020, HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein and the last but not the least, Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and Managing Director of the Dubai Expo 2020 have succeeded to connect minds and created the future.

World EXPO 2020 has multiplier effects. According to the latest study of the Oxford Business Group (2013) showed that the expected revenue from hosting Expo could reach Dh139billion. Minister of State Reem Al Hashmi said Dubai could still invest around Dh25 billion to host the six-month event, which could be held for the first time in a Middle Eastern country. It could generate more than 280,000 new jobs. It would definitely accelerate the cycle of business productivity in the country and region as well.

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It would provide an ideal platform to share technical and scientific innovations and prompt communication among various cultures while promoting economic and business cooperation between nations. It would be truly a driving force of the economic, cultural and social transformation happening worldwide.

Moreover, it would be a milestone in the efforts to reach higher levels of excellence and leadership. The World EXPO 2020 would offer an ideal opportunity to advance economic diversity and develop national competencies in the fields of technology and sciences. It would also promote the transformation into a knowledge-based economy that relies on human capital to shape the future of the nation while complying with the genuine values and heritage of our ancestors.

UAE infrastructure, supply chains and logistic fields uphold its superior status as compare to other competitors for World Expo 2020 bid. Dubai advanced and numerous logistic facilities, including airports, ports and sophisticated road network are second to none which would pay dividends on the decision of the BIE.

In the recently published World Bank report (October, 2013) titled “Ease of Doing Business report-2014 the UAE has jumped three point this year to reach at No. 23 in the world out of 189 economies. It is still Number-I in the region. According to the World Bank, the country has achieved the highest ranking in the region and the Arab world and has done so by massively improving regulations to protect investors and a host of other business-critical parameters. It strengthened investor protections, improved electricity access, and simplified property transfers during the last year. It latest report of the World Bank (October, 2013) has further strengthened its candidature to host the World EXPO in 2020.

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From outer-space to beneath the sea and from high mountains to high skies the euphoria of the Emiratis is phenomenal towards hosting the World EXPO 2020. The Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (Eiast) has moved the DubaiSat-2 satellite under supervision of its top engineers from South Korea to Russia in preparation for its launch soon.

As part of its initiative to support the UAE’s World Expo 2020 bid, the logo of Expo 2020 will be displayed on the DubaiSat-2 launcher rocket.

Concluding Remarks

Hosting of World EXPO 2020 in Dubai is the natural continuation of the UAE’s efforts to establish its strategic position as a unique global hub for cultural coexistence, tolerance, peace and respect for humanity. UAE acts as a rapprochement between the cultures of the world, promote common values and principles, ending the world to achieve happiness and global peace for people around the world.

United Arab Emirates plays an important role in global tourism sector, and in social and economic development, both regionally and internationally, as it is open up to the rest of the world and seeks to achieve a better world that is more peaceful, prosperous and advanced. Its knowledge-based society and economy, contributes to the progress of the world’s knowledge and technology. All in all the UAE, Dubai has highest chances to win the bid of hosting World EXPO in 2020. Days are numbered transforming dreams into realities and the UAE is of course inching towards achieving the impassable i.e. winning the bid of World EXPO 2020.

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