The race is heating up and so are speculations on who will finally host the mega event World Expo 2020. But each passing day is narrowing down the probable. Dubai with its theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ is a favored choice and has many supporters. The latest addition to the long list of supporters is none other than the New York Times which has openly reported Dubai as a ‘frontrunner’ favoring it over other contenders.
Fingers are crossed and people around the world anxiously waiting for the outcome of voting which begins on November 27, just weeks away. The NYT article in an analysis has pitted Dubai above Brazil, Sao Paolo, Izmir in Turkey and Yekaterinburg in Russia. Dubai will be the first country in the Middle East to host the prestigious event.
The article which was published on August 25 has many arguments in favor of Dubai compared to others but the main reason is the financial backing and supports that Dubai offers for the event. The political tensions in Turkey and Russia mar the image of those countries to play host. Even the anti –gay law in some countries are being cited as a reason. One time favorites Sao Paolo in Brazil has taken a beating after the recent demonstrations. Insiders have reportedly confirmed that it has the least chance to succeed.
The article has sent out the right signals opined Vishesh Bhatia , CEO of Jumbo Electronics who said he was “very pleased”, considering that the newspaper is widely believed to hold a sway people having thoughts can favorably inspired the Expo Selection Panel. He added that a validation by the respected New York Times would surely count a lot.
Mr. Bhatia’s optimism was reflected in his words, “In the middle of the ongoing Spring of Arab, Dubai and actually UAE remains a calm oasis. Wise and inspired leadership and especially Dubai government makes it a place for safe and stable living. A government that is continuously looking for the enhancement of in the living standards, security of residents and citizens, moreover a Government that benchmarked against one of the world’s best that encourages fresh thinking, innovation to make Dubai unparalleled in the world, otherwise at least in the region.” For him, it is hardly a wonder that NYT had chosen Dubai over others. He also foresaw the Expo as a bonanza for the economy, giving it the boost and making more healthy and alive especially in sectors of construction and real estate which directly benefits from such a mega event. To sum up, he felt that it is the best news for Dubai’s economy and investor sentiment has never been better.
The corporate world has taken to the news in a great way. Kamal Vachani director of Al Maya Group commented that his group, a major player in the retail segment, was buoyant to see the NYT endorsement. The group which currently owns and operates more than 30 stores throughout the country, views that Expo would come to Dubai as it has already outshined the other contending cities on different parameters in the run up to November 27. The fact that Dubai is a highly dynamic city in terms of trade, infrastructure and geographical location will better Dubai’s chances at winning the bid, he added.
Almost every industry is betting on Dubai winning the bid. Jeff Johnson President of Aviation leader, Boeing’s Middle East has no questions in his mind about Dubai’s caliber for hosting the Expo 2020. The recent infrastructure additions that Dubai has added and all the allied efforts that the city and its authorities are putting in are certain to strengthen Dubai’s bid. Winning the bid will be a great accomplishing and would mean that a world city will play host to a world class event, Opined Mr. Johnson.
The new vistas of prospects being opened by the possibility of Dubai winning the bid is eagerly awaited by Flydubai CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith. He registered his support by saying “It’s not only the marvelous success for the UAE nation but it is going to highlight the position of Dubai as a global business hub. Flydubai will keep supporting economic development of Dubai to develop free flows of tourism and trade in formerly underserved markets.”
Expo 2020 is of added importance for UAE which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2021. O the eve of this celebration Expo 2020 is going to generate more than 277,000 jobs, and create about additional 50 allied jobs for each such created job are expected on a wider canvas. The whole event will increase the employment chances across the region of MENA which presently doesn’t figure well on the employment charts. The event will be a first for the whole Gulf region. The Middle East, South Asia or Africa has never hosted something of this magnitude. Expo 2020 will attract over 25 million visitors, most of them from the developing world, figures project as much as 70%. And this is going to give rise to a whole new set of partnerships and business ventures across the region.
Let’s wait and see the happenings once the Representatives of 167 member countries of the BIE (Bureau International des Expositions) based in Paris, exercise their vote to decide the host of World Expo2020 on 27th November.
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