The countdown has begun in the right earnest. The end of the Bureau International des Expositions’ (BIE) Enquiry Mission marks the start of the next phase in the UAE’s bid to host Expo 2020.
Reporting to the UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Higher Committee on Hosting the World Expo 2020 is working on the bid under the chairmanship of Dubai Civil Aviation Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
The bid committee comprises of the most senior of UAE officials. In a gathering this afternoon, senior officials of the Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo in Dubai addressed local and international media at the landmark Burj Al Arab hotel.
“If Dubai is successful in its bid, the Expo will attract opportunities not only for Dubai and the UAE, but across the region and the world,” said Sheikh Ahmed.
He said that the total economic impact of the Expo would be huge. “The total economic output across Dubai economy would amount to €28.8 billion,” he said, adding that “more than 277,000 jobs will be added to the economy” for the Expo itself.
“More importantly,” he said, “for every one expo employee, there will be 50 additional jobs sustained across the Mena region and the Indian subcontinent.”
Sheikh Ahmed said that the Expo would provide a “significant boost to not just the national GDP, but also leave a lasting legacy for a generation to come in the UAE and the wider region and the world.”
The members of the very elite Bid Committee include: HE Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Director-General of His Highness the Ruler’s Court of Dubai, who serves as Deputy Chairman; HE Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and the Committee’s Managing Director; HE Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the Roads and Transport Authority; HE Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality; Major General Khamis Mutar Al Muzainah, Deputy Commander General of Dubai Police; and Helal Saeed Al Marri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre.
Steen Christensen, Chairman of BIE’s Enquiry Mission to the UAE and delegate on behalf of Denmark, lauded the UAE’s bid and efforts and said the “BIE Enquiry Mission is impressed with the robust infrastructure and the level of public support for the bid.”
Christensen noted that “the project and the vision behind the projects is clear,” and thanked the bid committee and the UAE for its “hospitality, highly professional and well organised visit”.
He highlighted that “the UAE has been an active participant to several Expos,” and noted that the country “has won prizes for their pavilion at the past 3 Expos.”
“The visit to Dubai has given me a very positive impression of the country and the people – in that regard, it has been a very good and enjoyful experience,” he said.
Vincent Gonzales Loscertales, Secretary-General of BIE and part of the Enquiry Mission, too said he was impressed by “the readiness and cooperation of the authorities” for the bid.
The members of this very elite committee include: HE Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Director-General of His Highness the Ruler’s Court of Dubai, who serves as Deputy Chairman; HE Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and the Committee’s Managing Director; HE Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the Roads and Transport Authority; HE Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality; Major General Khamis Mutar Al Muzainah, Deputy Commander General of Dubai Police; and Helal Saeed Al Marri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre.
There are just nine months to go until the BIE General Assembly in November, when the crucial vote will take place to decide the winning host city for World Expo 2020.
The World Expo is one of the largest global, non-commercial events in terms of economic and cultural impact, after the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games.
A report detailing the BIE Enquiry Mission’s recommendation will be presented at the next BIE General Assembly in Paris in June, which is the next milestone in the bid process.
Like last November’s BIE General Assembly, each of the five competing cities will again get the chance to make a short presentation to BIE delegates, highlighting why their city should be awarded Expo 2020.
The United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Russia, Thailand and Turkey have all officially bid to host the World Expo 2020 and no more submissions can now be placed.
The Enquiry Mission is yet to carry out its visit to two more missions, Brazil and Russia, and once all the missions have been finalised and reports filed for al candidate cities, they will be submitted to all BIE members and executive committee for a vote in November.
If the UAE’s bid is to be successful, it will be the first expo for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
The BIE Enquiry Mission, which visits each of the candidate cities, will now prepare a report detailing their recommendation to all BIE member states outlining Dubai and the UAE’s feasibility and plans for hosting the World Expo 2020, emphasising the strengths of their bid, city and nation to host an unforgettable World Expo.
A decision will be made by BIE member countries at the General Assembly in November 2013.
The most recent World Expo in Shanghai in 2010 was of great significance to China. As a showcase of what a modern city Shanghai had become, it was a considerable achievement on the soft diplomacy front for the Chinese as they gained international exposure and reached further out into the world.
The Expo involved 192 countries and 50 international organisations and was the most expensive in the history of World’s Fairs. By its end, a record 73 million people had visited. It cost 11.96bn yuan ($1.89bn) to run the event, but it made a profit of more than 1bn yuan ($158m).
The Chinese have shown that it is possible to build an impressive legacy from an Expo.
All eyes are now on Yeosu in South Korea, which runs until August 12 this year, on Milan in 2015 and then on the winner of the 2020 bid to see if they can build on China’s success. The bar has been set high.
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