Expo 2020 for the world
Group CEO of Emirates NBD, Rick Pudner, says an Expo in the UAE would truly be an Expo for the world, with people from over 200 nationalities already living and working in the UAE in peace, harmony and security.
How important is Expo 2020 for 1) Dubai and 2) UAE, and also for the 3) Arabian Gulf region?
A World Expo is one of the best opportunities for a host country and its surrounding areas to demonstrate their social, economic and cultural achievements and prospects to the world. It offers an opportunity to present a vivid reflection of the progress of human society as well as the dreams for the future.
If Dubai were to win the bid to be the host city for World Expo 2020, it would mean a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for the entire region, because it would create an influx of investors, business opportunities and development prospects not only in Dubai and the UAE, but across the Arabian Gulf.
In terms of size and opportunity, Dubai is relatively small and is home to a considerably small population. However, the infrastructure development in Dubai and its excellent connectivity to the world enable it to become one of the leading trade and business hubs in the region, and it is customary for organisations to use Dubai as a base to extend their businesses across the region.
Hosting the World Expo 2020 in Dubai would certainly mean a huge boost to the business status of the emirate, the country and the region.
Why Dubai is an ideal destination for Expo2020?
Dubai holds many distinct advantages as a host city for World Expo. An Expo in the UAE would truly be an Expo for the world, with people from over 200 nationalities already living and working in the UAE in peace, harmony and security. Dubai is within a four-hour flight range of nearly one-third of the world’s population – and for the first time in the history of the Expo, a majority of visitors would come from outside the host country. Given its strategic geographical position, the UAE is a gateway to Africa and other developing economies around the world and The 2020 World Expo in the UAE would be the first Expo held in the Middle East, North Africa or South Asia, giving these vibrant and dynamic economies access to new opportunities on the world stage.
What kind of opportunities you see once Dubai emerges as a winner?
Expos traditionally are large scale exhibitions and events that are organized over large periods of time. If Dubai emerges as a winner, it would mean a sudden and considerable boost in construction, infrastructural planning and development activity. Secondary and support sectors like trade, tourism, entertainment and hospitality would also receive significant benefits from the organization of such a large scale event in the UAE.
Since Expos are planned more than five years ahead of the actual event, the inflow of business opportunities and investment will be expected to begin well ahead. Closely related to these is also the growth of other sectors including residential property development, family support systems, educational opportunities etc. As a result of extensive growth across all sectors, banking will also benefit considerably.
As regional countries and organisations look to maximise the benefit of a huge event taking place on their doorstep, the doors would literally be thrown open to greater inward investment, setting up of various support industries and businesses to support the hosting of the Expo, not only in Dubai but also in the neighbouring emirates, surrounding GCC states and the greater Middle East.
What sectors of the business will benefit the most?
- Infrastructure development/ Construction
- Transportation & Logistics
What Dubai as host city would mean for the economy of the UAE?
As a monumental gathering held once every five years, Expos are among the largest and most prestigious events in the world. The UAE’s success, innovation and growth story will be showcased on the global stage, attracting new opportunities, new endeavours and endless potential for everyone who lives and works here. The UAE is set to see further economic development, enhanced infrastructure and a host of new employment opportunities along with an even stronger global reputation and new architectural landmarks we can be proud of for generations to come and this position would only be strengthened should Dubai host Expo 2020.
What has been your contribution until now for the campaign bid?
As one of the premier partners of the UAE’s bid to host World Expo 2020 in Dubai, Emirates NBD has constantly supported every aspect of the bid including promoting the UAE’s bid theme across all its stakeholder audiences. The World Expo 2020 bid logo has been incorporated into all marketing collaterals at the bank and displayed at all events that are either organized by Emirates NBD or sponsored and supported by the bank.
The key themes and messages of UAE’s bid have been incorporated into the main communication messages at Emirates NBD and senior spokespersons at the bank constantly make the effort to reiterate the Expo 2020 bid messages and themes at public events and among target stakeholder groups.
As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, 50 staff members from Emirates NBD took on the challenge to climb Mt Kilimanjaro and they carried a flag incorporated with the logos of Emirates NBD, UAE’s bid to host Expo 2020 and the UAE colors.