The bell of final lap has rung. With only just over two weeks remaining for the all-important voting day on November 27, the main contenders for Expo2020 are breaking free from the pack and Dubai has already widened the gap. Couple of good things like, good connectivity and easy accessibility in good stead for Dubai.
A decade ago in 2003, when Dubai hosted the World Bank Group annual meeting of IMF- a.k.a Dubai 2003, felicitations for good organizing and planning poured in from all quarters. Delegates from around the world which included governors of similar yearly meetings were impressed by Dubai’s arrangements and congratulated the UAE authorities for the exemplary hosting of the meet.
The international community’s sentiment about the event was put forth by Kaspar Villiger who was then the finance minister of Switzerland and chaired the Annual Meeting. He was very pleased with the arrangements that he said that he was thinking of seeking Dubai’s assistance in organizing similar events in Switzerland. At a post conference press meeting, he literally spoke of asking the relevant authorities to get in touch with authorities in Dubai and even use some help from the organizing and planning committee staff.
Dubai in 2020 and in 2003 is almost an era apart. The city has seen much investment in infrastructure. It has the latest in technology and design and has the backing of a rejuvenated economy and global visitor profile. The voting of the delegates on November 27 is almost only the official exercise taking into account the hype that the city of Dubai has already created and the support it has gathered. Still, one awaits the general assembly of Exposition Bureau’s vote.
But Dubai has already impressed many with the existing facilities and infrastructure. Here, one must note that Dubai hasn’t started to add facilities in earnest for the 2020 event and it has already won the support of international media. NYT’s (New York Times) analysis of contenders clearly chooses Dubai over others enumerating couple of political or economic problems others face. According to NYT Russia and Turkey stand to lose on account of the political tensions while Brazil has seen much turmoil. Thailand the other contender has pulled out from the competition which leaves Dubai the hot favorite. In Dubai, NYT perceives the political will and financial support to host an event of such a magnitude.
Dubai has already played host to the team which evaluates the contending cities for the Expo. International des Expositions Bureau has recently sent in a six member team on a five day visit. The team surveys and shares the responsibility of administration of the expos. Their reports on the cities are the primary instrument of evaluation and these documents can influence decision and votes even in the last stage. During their visit, they gathered information and evaluated multiple factors. These documents have not released publically yet. But the grapevine tells us that it favors Dubai.
The Emirate will have another first added to its name, if it wins the bid. Dubai and UAE had some economic issues couple of years ago and the resilience of the economy has won applause from all over. The economy is now backing on track and Expo 2020 will be another milestone in Dubai’s history.
The emirate has planned well its bid. The local and international media has been reporting about the bid and obtained the support for Dubai. As early as May this year saw the first official support coming in for Dubai when first country to do so was UK. The British Foreign Secy. William Hague told that the bid of Dubai was deemed to be the best as it ranked best as a place with easy accessibility and global connectivity. The emirate’s importance on the world trade circuit as a transport hub and global logistics was another reason which stood in its favor. The strategic location of Dubai was also an important factor that culminated in UK’s support.
Expo 2010 in Shanghai was the finest expo till date and considered as most expensive expo as well. Dubai 2020 is expected to outshine that as Dubai is known for its splendor and hospitality. UAE’s leadership is also looked up to in this context and the past experiences of Dubai hosting international events has proven that they pull all stops to make it a lifetime experience. This time, it has planned to virtually create and new city and Dubai 2020 is sure to have the trappings of another magical world enhancing the city’s futuristic infrastructure and architecture to another level making it a chosen destination for global high profile events.
The blueprint has planned it all out. Over 25 million people are expected at the expo and Dubai with its impressive transport system is slated to get some major additions to accommodate the influx like an Dubai Metro expansion to include an extension of the Red line from the Jebel Ali station to International Airport of al Maktoum which is near to the Expo’s proposed main venue.
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