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Published on : Friday, November 29, 2013
Hosting Expo 2020 will have a significant impact on the tourism industry of Dubai and the UAE, and provide a unique platform on which to communicate the remarkable story of a young city and nation according to the head of the body responsible for promoting Dubai around the world and attracting international visitors to the Emirate.
Speaking from Paris, shortly after Dubai was announced as the winning host city for Expo 2020 at the final vote counting in Paris yesterday, His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre said, “From the outset, Dubai’s Expo bid was part of the government’s long-term vision that ensures sustainable national development and a prosperous future for the UAE. Hosting Expo 2020 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that will be maximised to accelerate the growth of the tourism industry in Dubai, the UAE and the wider GCC region. We are honoured to have been chosen as the host nation and would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai for his incomparable vision; the members, committees and secretariat of the BIE; all of the countries which voted for us; and the people of the UAE for their tremendous support.”
Gathered in Paris, France, for the 154th Bureau International des Exhibitions (BIE) General Assembly, representatives of the 168 BIE member nations voted on bids from the final four contenders which were Dubai, Brazil, Russia and Turkey to host the 2020 edition of one of the world’s oldest, largest and most significant international mega-events. Dubai’s bid, themed ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ won with 116 votes in the final round, with Russia gaining 47.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri continued, “In May of this year, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved the Tourism Vision for 2020, a strategy which sets a clear path towards developing Dubai’s tourism industry and furthering its contribution to Dubai’s economy, with the headline target of welcoming 20 million visitors to Dubai a year by 2020. In our journey to achieve our target, we will now leverage the hosting of Expo 2020 and the focus it will place on Dubai as a means to attract visitors to Dubai, not just during the six months of the Expo itself, but in the seven years leading up to it.”
Between October 2020 and April 2021, more than 25 million visitors are expected to attend Expo 2020, 70% of which will be from outside the UAE – the largest number of international visitors in Expo history.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri stated, “The legacy of holding such an event in Dubai is where the real value lies. A wide range of sectors will benefit, including construction, engineering and transportation, and of course the hospitality, retail and aviation sectors will experience a significant positive impact, further strengthening their already robust positions. The announcements made at the recent Dubai Air show demonstrate the extraordinary strength of the aviation sector in Dubai and the UAE and Retail has been one of the leading drivers of the Emirate’s economic growth to date. With regards to hospitality, there are currently 82,000 hotels and hotel apartment rooms in Dubai with this figure expected to double by 2020. This expanded hotel portfolio will be vital to ensure the demands of the Expo visitors are met and DTCM will work with our partners in both government and the private sector to put in place the infrastructure and processes needed to meet the demand of the 25 million expected visitors over the Expo period. Our successful bid demonstrated the value in harnessing the collective power, resources and passion of all of our city stakeholders and the people of the UAE and we will ensure that the world is welcomed in style in 2020.”