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UAE: Expected Victor of World EXPO 2020

Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

National preparedness, regional support and international recognition all pave the way for the United Arab Emirates to win the bidding of holding World Expo 2020. The final winner will be decided in November 2013. All the four candidate cities including Dubai waits for glory which would be another milestone.

UAE Strategically Located

Strategic position of the UAE makes it a link between East and West, and North and South. It would be an ideal platform for the world to come together. It is hoped that it would open unlimited avenue of opportunities for the whole world. Dubai 2020 would be the first Expo to be held in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region. It would give regional vibrant and emerging economies access to unlimited new markets, products and potentials. UAE strong indicators as project by the IMF, World Bank, ADB, etc. endorse its leading position in the race of winning World Expo 2020. Moreover, it has zero country, political, and management risks. It has no credit and war risks too.

BRCIS not its best

Miracle of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is at its lowest ebbs. Emerging geo-political, geo-strategic and socio-economic analysis of all the candidate cities pinpoints that the UAE is in all respects would win the competition of World Expo 2020. Despite all soft image measures with in the country and around the region taken by the Brazil, elements of conflicts, confusions and contractions are on the rise. Societal unrest is at its peak. People’s anger, frustration and agony are spreading fast and thick. Apparently, cosmetic arrangements pledged by the Brazilian government are not acceptable to its civil society and youth. Signs of macro-economy of the Russia, another competitive country are not encouraging. Russian President was enforced to reshuffle his entire economic team.

Turkey’s Crescent eclipses

Turkey another important country in the race of hosting World Expo 2020 is now sieged with many Taskim square series. It has already produced serious dints in its national economy. Rations of international tourists have been reduced due to poor law and order situation in the country. Moreover, since Turkey has been indulged with Kurds conflict for so many years due to which the chances of any deadly terrorist incident is always imminent any time anywhere in the country so, icon of safe havens for tourists are falling fast.

Global Leadership Appreciation

On the other hand, in his televised addressed to 3rd Annual Global Entrepreneurial Summit (GES) held Dubai, the US President Barack Obama praised the UAE leadership and its people to achieve high standard of development which would play vital role in the awarding of World Expo 2020. French President also pledged his country support to UAE for hosting World Expo 2020 in Dubai. Moreover, United Kingdom (UK) extended its support to vote in favour of UAE in World Expo 2020.

It is hoped that admirations from the world leaders would helpful for Dubai to win the race of World Expo 2020 in the days to come. On the contrary, in recent times Turkey faced tough time from the EU especially from the Germany and France on the issue of its succession with EU. So, road from Ankara to Brussels to get support from the EU-28 on the issue of World Expo 2020 has already been marginalized for Turkey.

UAE Macro-Economy Indicators

Undoubtedly, in general UAE’s stable and sustainable macro-economic indicators, fiscal surplus and booming external accounts make its credential strong for World Expo 2020. Its skyrocketing GDP, stable foreign currency reserves, booming exports ratios and above all qualitative infrastructures automatically makes it the most suitable country to host the World Expo 2020.

Specifically, on economic fronts, the latest published report of the World Bank has ranked the UAE 28th worldwide among the largest economies of the world in terms of GDP. According to the World Bank’s estimates, the UAE’s gross domestic product stood at US$360.25 billion (Dhs1.32 trillion), based on 2011. The A T Kearney Index report (2013) titled “Retail Trade Growth in 2013” has rated the UAE 5th which is again shows the strength of its sustained macro-economy. The World Economic Forum for Global Development (2011) awarded 5th position to the UAE for its financial stability in the standard index. It was also classified 25th among the best world financial systems. The UAE was also ranked first among the Arab countries and 19th globally in the Global Enabling Trade Report for 2012, issued by the World Economic Forum. All these reports of international agencies and institutions clearly uphold the strong indicators of UAE economy which is on the way of further prosperity, productivity and diversification.

UAE: Hub of Businesses and Investments

The World Bank (October 2012) report titled “Doing Business Report for 2013” again rated the UAE first among the Arab countries and 26th globally out of 183 countries. Kuwaiti-based inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation (IAIGC), a key Arab League organisation recently classified UAE among the top 10 countries in the field for efficient import and export procedures and physical security. It has also been on the ideal destination of FDIs.

According to international FDI magazine (2013), foreign investors pumped nearly $9.6 billion capital in the UAE in 2012 allowing the country to maintain its position as the second largest Arab recipient of foreign director investment (FDI) after Saudi Arabia. Moreover, according to Mercer the UAE is the world’s 7th most popular destination for international assignments. And the last but not the least, Brand Finance, an independent intangible assets and brand valuation consultancy said that the UAE has 15 brands out of the top 50 brands in Mena region in 2013, with a brand value touching $14.48 billion. According to the study, the value of UAE brands constitutes 37 per cent of the total value of $39.33 billion of the top 50 Mena brands. The comparative study of these reports and figures strongly indicate the healthy and progressive nature of the UAE economy which has rightly projected it as the most ideal country for hosting World Expo 2020.

UAE: Hotspot for Regional & International Tourists

UAE is one the ideal destination of international tourism. Official data shows that more than 60 million people travel through the emirate in 2012 while 10 million visit the city of Dubai every year due to a world-class airport and a global airline.

It has become hub of all kinds of regional and international expos, conferences, seminars and exhibitions. Successful holding of Dubai Air Show, International Defence Exhibition (IDEX), Gitex (Middle East’s largest consumer IT and electronics show) and more than 200 other trade shows as well as international sporting events, for World Expo 2020 are the prime example of its preparedness.

Its infrastructure has comparative advantage on all other candidate cities. Its hoteliers have international standards of accommodation and hospitality. According to World Travel and Tourism Council report (2013) the UAE’s hospitality market is geared up to record 67 per cent growth in revenue to US$7.5 billion by 2016 up from US$4.5 billion in 2011. The UAE now has more hotels per head of population than any other country in the world. With the UAE’s tourism map now incredibly diverse, Dubai Expo 2020 would offer an opportunity for millions of transit passengers to visit the Expo.

Concluding Remarks

United Arab Emirates is an ideal country for connecting minds, connecting the future. UAE the land of unlimited opportunities having more than 200 different nationalities make it perfect country for dancing among the different cultures. Right from the top to bottom, everyone is working to achieve glory by wining World Expo 2020.

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