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11/28/2013 12:00:00 AM


In a strong showing that was only to be expected, the UAE beat the competition in the crucial voting rounds to grab the rights to host Expo 2020.

The World Expos, held every five years, is a trade exhibition that attracts millions of visitors to the host country. The UAE made it clear early in its campaign that it was determined to host the event.

Dubai set the tone for their win in the very first round of voting, leading all other aspirants, including heavyweights Russia and Turkey.

The UAE’s performance improved with each vote. They improved their first round showing of 77 votes by gaining 10 more votes in the second round, while heavyweights Russia improved by only two. This gave credence to the fact that any political maneuverings that had been expected by countries had been negated by the sheer confidence of the UAE’s performance. President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan called His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to congratulate him on the win.

Crucial ballot

The crucial ballot to determine the winning bid took place at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development centre (OECD) after a series of 20-minute presentations by the bidding candidates.

The UAE set the pace with Reem Al Hashemi, Minister of State and Managing Director of the Bid Committe, make the inaugural address. Her speech and the video presentation that followed was brimming with sincerity and simplicity and two qualities have always been the UAE’s hallmark.

“Today I stand before you delivering the most important speech of my life. We would be honoured and privileged to hostExpo 2020 in Dubai. We began this journey with a view that we were willing to understand what the future would be and we explored ideas and thoughts. Then we defined the road map for Dubai Expo 2020. I hope in this journey you have understood us better: that we remain determined to deliver an inclusive expo. His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid

Al Maktoum attended this assembly in the initial stages and he instructed us to deliver the strongest possible bid. Today, we are joined by 10 Federal Ministers and under the guidance of Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed al Maktoum we deliver to you the strongest file we can. The Expo team we formed in 2011 is still with you today.”

The bid for Expo 2020 is in line with Dubai’s ambitions for the future. It sends out a strong message to the rest of the world with this unprecedented win, the first for a Middle Eastern country. They are willing to ‘connect minds and create the future’according to the tenets of their bid. and nowhere could that be more possible than in the UAE.

“All our future plans fall into place with Expo 2020,” said Shaikh Ahmad. “The Expo is not just for the UAE and its neighbouring regions, it is also for at least two billion people who live in this extensive region. It is for everybody.” An estimated total funding of €6.5 billion have been earmarked for this event with €5.2 billion s anticipated as capital investment for the Expo’s infrastructure environment.

Dubai’s economy is set to receive an added value boost of roughly €17.7 billion. More exciting, however, will be the innumerable opportunities that will be created boosting the growth of tourism and logistics in the UAE and ME.An estimated 25 million visitors are set to arrive in the country as a result of a successful bid, thus influencing tourism, trade, infrastructure and investment. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, however, feels that this number is conservative and by the time people transfer the merits of Dubai by word of mouth the total could swell to 100 million.

A total of 270,000 jobs will also be conceived to cater to an expanded economy.