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Expo 2020 in UAE: connecting minds, creating the future!

In less than two years time, Expo 2020 Dubai will welcome the international community to the UAE for a six-month celebration of human ingenuity and progress, allowing millions of people to experience the world in one place. The upcoming Expo 2020 will be a global celebration of the UAE. A total of 190 countries have confirmed their participation at Expo 2020 Dubai. Countries that have already unveiled their pavilion plans include Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, the UK and Switzerland. The confirmation of 190 international participants is further testament to the UAE’s stature on the international stage and demonstrates the world’s confidence in the UAE’s ability to bring the world together. As the first World Expo in the Middle East and South Asia region, the UAE and Dubai has been working to create a platform to foster creativity, innovation and partnership globally.

The World Expo is not only an opportunity to showcase innovations and new ideas, but is also an opportunity to benefit economies across the UAE and beyond by facilitating new connections between businesses of all sizes. It allows companies from around the world to unlock business opportunities, forge international partnerships and drive growth. It also allows firms to promote their supply chains in both new and established markets. With 25 million visits projected between October 2020 and April 2021, and 70 percent of visitors expected to come from outside the UAE, the next World Expo represents a major commercial opportunity for businesses of all sizes. Expo 2020 has so far awarded 4,500 contracts, more than half of which have been won by SMEs. Expo has committed to allocating 20 percent of its direct and indirect spend to SMEs.

Expo 2020 is set to showcase Dubai’s characteristic appeal for foreign investment, predominantly due to the pro-business government, independent financial regulator, global financial exchange, high number of High Net Worth Individuals, dynamic business community, world-class telecommunications and infrastructure. The positive impact of this global event on the emirate’s economy will be substantial. More than 275,000 jobs will be created and demand will receive a significant boost in all key sectors such as real estate, tourism, hospitality, retail, education, technology, manufacturing and healthcare. It’s because of this comprehensive, sustainable impact that GDP growth in Dubai is likely to accelerate well over the year’s 3.5 percent estimate. The economic growth will also drive demand within Dubai’s financial sector.

 

Over the next 10 years, we can expect the UAE to be within the world’s top 10 international financial hubs. Furthermore, the UAE’s position will be strengthened with the recently introduced legislation, allowing expatriates to remain in the country long after retirement, which could help to drive Dubai and Abu Dhabi up the world’s top 10 global financial center rankings. Indeed, Dubai is already seen as one of the most powerful financial centers in the world, this new legislation, and of course the upcoming Expo 2020, will bolster this view globally in an unprecedented way. In short, the colossal value that Expo 2020 provides will support diversification and further enhance existing sectors within the UAE. Its positive impact will serve not only the domestic economy but also the wider region and will last for decades to come.

Pakistan has also formally signed a participation contract with the Expo 2020 authorities at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abu Dhabi. The contract signing formally started activities for the construction of Pakistan Pavilion in Expo 2020. The pavilion would be based on the ‘Emerging Pakistan’ theme, having representation from all provinces. Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with the UAE and looks forward to making its participation most meaningful in line with the theme of the event.

The writer is a Karachi based freelance columnist and is a banker by profession. He could be reached on Twitter @ReluctantAhsan

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