Expo 2020 Dubai contributes AED 154.9 Billion to the UAE Economy

The World Expo 2020 Dubai, which had over 24 million visits over six months, is expected to have a significant impact on the economy of the United Arab Emirates. It’s estimated that the event will create around 1,039,000 full-time equivalents (FTE) job years, which is equivalent to over 35,000 FTE jobs per year in the UAE over the same period.

The sectors contributing the most to the country’s economic productivity, as measured by gross value added (GVA), are events organization and business services (AED 75.5 billion/USD 20.6 billion), construction (AED 31.9 billion/USD 8.7 billion), and restaurants and hotels (AED 23.1 billion/USD 6.3 billion). The pre-event phase accounted for approximately one-quarter of the GVA, while the event itself contributed almost 13 percent. However, the majority of the economic benefits, approximately 62 percent, will be felt during the legacy phase until 2042.

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and CEO, of Expo City Dubai Authority said – “Our commitment from the start was to host a World Expo that would have long-lasting economic, social, and environmental benefits for the UAE, the region, and the world. We were determined to make a positive impact that would extend well beyond the six months of the event. Despite the challenges presented by the global pandemic, we have fulfilled our promise.

Now, one year after the event concluded, this report confirms that Expo 2020 Dubai was a resounding success. It was a landmark event that is significantly boosting our nation’s economy and continuing to enhance our city’s international profile. The event is driving new business growth and attracting major global events, such as the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP28). We are proud that our legacy city, Expo City Dubai, will host this important conference in November 2023.”

Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) said – “Expo 2020 Dubai and Expo City Dubai are founded on a shared vision for a future that prioritizes social and environmental consciousness. These events have become a crucial platform for sustainable development not only in the UAE but also in the wider world. The six-month-long Expo 2020 Dubai exceeded all expectations as it provided an extraordinary experience for visitors and participants alike. Its legacy is set to continue, creating new opportunities for growth in the years to come.”

Legacy considerations were given the highest priority during the planning phase, and as a result, Expo City Dubai is reusing more than 80 percent of the infrastructure that was built for the six-month-long event. Expo City Dubai is an essential component of Dubai’s 2040 Urban Master Plan and the emirate’s sustained growth. The legacy of Expo 2020 Dubai is carried forward through a range of programs, initiatives, and events that will continue to attract visitors, businesses, and tenants, thus adding further impact and economic value to the city.

Several initiatives are contributing to the ongoing impact of Expo 2020 Dubai, including the Expo Live program. This program offers funding and support to social entrepreneurs worldwide and has recently launched a search for climate-related solutions. Additionally, the Expo School Program continues to engage and inspire youth, with over 25,000 schoolchildren already participating in its new phase at Expo City Dubai. Furthermore, the Women’s Pavilion hosts events that drive meaningful discussions and promote action on gender equality and women’s empowerment. All of these programs are making a significant contribution to the lasting legacy of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Expo City Dubai’s programs are built upon the principles of equality and inclusion and engage a diverse range of stakeholders, including youth, businesses, civil society, and governments. These programs aim to achieve broader objectives, such as promoting action toward climate security in preparation for COP28 and fostering collaboration to create a better, more equitable, and sustainable future for everyone.

Expo City Dubai opened its doors in October 2022 and has since welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to partake in various festivities such as Hai Ramadan, Winter City, Fan City, and Chinese New Year celebrations. Additionally, visitors can enjoy holiday camps, movie nights, and a range of spectacular events including the Dubai Marathon, the Dubai UAE Tour road cycle race, and the world-renowned Gumball 3000 sports car rally.

Moreover, numerous iconic attractions from Expo 2020 Dubai are still accessible, and the AED 120 one-day Attractions Pass has gained popularity. This pass grants entry to Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion, Alif – The Mobility Pavilion, the Vision and Women’s Pavilions, as well as the three latest Stories of Nations exhibitions.

Rob Moody, Partner – Transactions & Corporate Finance, EY, said – “Expo 2020 Dubai, as the inaugural World Expo in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region, has generated significant and diverse long-term benefits for both the UAE and global communities in economic, social and environmental spheres. Expo City Dubai is projected to provide further expansion and progress, reinforcing the UAE’s immediate strategic goals and broader future aspirations.”

Research has indicated that Expo 2020 Dubai generated significant progress worldwide, as the 192 participating countries reported benefits such as trade and business partnerships, cultural exchange, and international diplomacy and cooperation.

Furthermore, Expo City Dubai will introduce its own initiatives, including the development of residential properties. These plans mark a new phase in the city’s evolution towards becoming a smart, sustainable, and community-focused metropolis of the future.

Hosting Expo 2020 Dubai marked a significant milestone for the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region, as it demonstrated a shared vision for a better future and encouraged global collaboration, bolstering the UAE’s international reputation. Recently, the final stage of this historic national project was completed with the submission of a comprehensive closing report to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), covering everything from the initial decision to bid for the event to its design, construction, operation, highlights, achievements, impact, and legacy.

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