Dubai Wins 2020 World Expo Bid

Updated on


Planning ahead for 2020 World Expo: the big winners

Now that Dubai has been confirmed as the location for the 2020 World Expo, the city’s improvement plans will be put into motion. Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts estimate that the economy will receive a $23 billion boost by the expo, with many sectors seeing significant benefits. Emma Hodgson of Gulf Business examined how several of them will see big gains from the World Expo.

Retail and banking

Dubai is home to 95 different malls and marketplaces, and many of the most powerful luxury brands have significant presences there. The city’s retail sector has already been booming for many years, but it will see a major boost from the 2020 World Expo. The city’s reputation for retail will likely be enhanced even further thanks to this major event.

Banking is also big business in Dubai, and the 2020 World Expo will likely increase confidence in Dubai’s banking sector. BAML analysts suggest it will also give the GDP of the UAE a nice boost.

Travel and hospitality

Of course airlines in the Middle East will also be beneficiaries of the expo, with 70% of the 25 million people who might attend will probably travel from outside the country. And since Dubai was already planning major improvements in airline infrastructure, those plans will reap even greater benefits thanks to the World Expo than they would have without the event.

Transportation will also see a benefit with billions expected to be invested there. Dubai is planning to purchase 760 zero emissions busses to expand its intra-city transportation system.

Hotels will also play an important role in the 2020 World Expo as Dubai makes plans to diversify the types of hotels which are available to visitors. Businesses setting up a three- or four-star hotel will receive a tax break.

Jobs and Infrastructure

The job market could be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the World Expo. The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing predicts there will be 275,000 jobs created between now and 2021. Most of them are expected to be created in construction, transportation, hospitality, retail, aviation and engineering.

Energy is also a big topic in Dubai. There are plans to expand the city’s electricity system, particularly in the area of sustainability.


Dubai has been chosen to play host to the 2020 World Expo, which would make the city the first one in the Middle East to organize the major global event in the 150 years it has been held.

Greg Keller of Associated Press (via ABC News) reports that the United Arab Emirates city beat other bids from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Yekaterinburg, Russia, and Izmir, Turkey. There were three rounds of bidding from delegates of the Bureau International des Expositions in Paris, which has 168 member nations.


Officials in Dubai believe the 2020 World Expo will bring in about $23 billion between 2015 and 2021. They estimate that the city will have to pay about $8.4 billion to organize the event.

This story is developing. We will provide more details as soon as they become available.

Leave a Comment