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Published on : Thursday, November 28, 2013
Dubai is for an economic bonanza. A $23 billion boost to the economy by Expo 2020 has been predicted by the Global Emerging Markets report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. As Dubai celebrates its Expo triumph, the leading newspaper of the area, Gulf Business, takes a look at the diverse areas which are expected to experience growth and development across the cityscape leading up to the 2020 event.
Some of the world’s most powerful luxury brands fill the 95 malls, markets and souks in Dubai and during the city’s short history it has become internationally recognised for its retail market.
“As Dubai increasingly becomes recognised as a centre of commerce for the Southern Hemisphere, the Expo could potentially boost this reputation with exponential growth of up to four times [the current retail sector].
Another highly anticipated key-gainer from the Expo 2020 is the banking sector. The event, which is the third largest in the world behind the Olympics and the Soccer World Cup, is expected to bring an increased confidence in Dubai’s financial centre, further boosting the reputation of the UAE as credible economic force on the world stage.
Middle East airlines are expected to experience a hike in business during the run up to 2020, as 70 per cent of the 25 million predicted visitors to Expo are expected to travel from outside the UAE.
However, according to Helel Almarri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the planned aviation development between 2013 – 2020 fits within long-term growth plans for Dubai’s tourism industry, irrespective of the Expo 2020.
“The tourism vision for 2020 includes the target figure of welcoming 20 million visitors per year to Dubai by 2020. Clearly hosting Expo [will] help us achieve that ambitious target, but our plans are not reliant on it,” Almarri said.
In the run up to Expo 2020, there are plans in place to diversify the range of hotels available to people visiting Dubai. Playing a key part in this is a new government incentive that will give a concession to businesses setting up a three or four star hotel. These business owners will be exempt from the ten per cent municipality fee which is currently applied onto room rates for each night of occupancy.
“Part of the strategy to deliver our Tourism Vision for 2020 is to continue to grow our hotel offering. We intend to almost double the number of rooms between 2013 and 2020 and part of this is increasing the mid-market offering. Approximately 25 hotels with a total of 6,250 rooms are due to open by the end of 2014, 50 per cent of which are 3 and 4 star and hotel apartments so you can already see that there is growth in this range” said HE Helal Almarri.