Jumeirah group CEO says that Dubai tourism will grow in spite of the dip after Expo 2020

Published on : Wednesday, July 11, 2018

indexWhile Expo 2020 is expected to drive Dubai’s position globally, it might result in a slow-moving hospitality market, according to the group CEO of hotel giant Jumeirah.

Jose Silva said that an oversupply in hotels, built to accommodate an estimated 25 million visitors to the city, may lead to slower market conditions for up to three years after the exhibition takes place.

To quote Silva, “You may have a small stagnation after [Expo 2020] for a few years, 2-3 years, but my experience is that it only helps [markets] grow, because once you have more supply and offerings, inevitably, you will have more tourism. And it will soon after be fully consumed and growth will continue.”

Silva, who took part in a number of world exhibitions during his career, said that Expos have been “transformational” in most cities where they have been held.

The CEO said Dubai is the Middle East’s economic hub for the services sector, particularly with regards to consulting, banking and advising.

Silva said, “Dubai is what I call the economical nerve of the Middle East. It is the London of Europe or the Singapore of Asia. Once you become the economic anchor of a destination, growth is unstoppable.”

However, although exhibitions like Expo 2020 might cause temporary stagnation in the city’s hospitality sector, it will not hamper its growth as a regional destination.

“When you have events like the expo, you may have a burst of construction then stagnation for a few years, but it will never be [permanently] stagnant. [Dubai] will keep being the growth of the Middle East. I would invest more in Dubai than any other destination,” said Silva.

In January this year, Emaar Hospitality CEO Olivier Harnisch said that hotels are not built for six-month events such as Expo 2020, but for long-term market development.

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