The Expo 2020 had to wait for a long to materialize due to Covid-19 but the projected economic dividends expected from the mega event make it worth the wait.
An independent study published by Ernst & Young said initial projections for 2019 indicated investments that would generate long-term returns of up to US$33.3 bn and create 905,200 job opportunities.
Following a full year of deferment, the exhibition started selling tickets in July 2021 confirming that it is scheduled to begin in October. Dubai intends to open its doors to visitors and re-establish 90 percent of its operating capacity at its airports this year and hopes to reach 25m visitors from October 2021 to March 2022.
Dubai economy and Expo 2020
The launch of the World Expo 2020 in Dubai is essential to the city’s economy.
In June 2020, Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted that 50,000 employees had built 192 pavilions and 30,000 volunteers were eager to help at the event, welcoming visitors to Expo 2020 with the phrase “Welcome to the world in Dubai.”
He also said that “the world will have a blueprint for major economic, developmental, and cultural trends for the post-COVID-19 era after the expo.”
Reservations began on October 1 for the Rove Expo 2020 hotel. The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai announced that new visa options such as golden residency, investor residency, and others were about to be made available. This development boosted the pent-up demand for luxury hotel apartments.
Only months before the launch of Expo 2020, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry reiterated that Dubai’s economy was recovering.
The survey results showed that improved business prospects had been achieved in small and medium-sized enterprises that have been more optimistic about a local recovery than big businesses serving regional and global markets.
Covid restrictions eased
The UAE has announced that it will lift its restrictions on entry for fully vaccinated residents from Sunday. It will allow the return of those vaccinated fully with WHO-approved Covid-19 jabs and holding valid residence visas from 15 nations previously on the suspended list, including India. Passengers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Namibia, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Africa, Nigeria, and Afghanistan.
Despite the general optimism, business leaders have said that their expectations were adversely affected, including debt collection, late payments, intense price competition, and a high cost of commodities.
They expect that the factors affecting business conditions have shown considerable improvements in Q3 2021 compared with the previous quarter in financial transactions.
For the third quarter, 57 percent of managers anticipated that oil prices would recover positively. In comparison, 62 percent expected that global restrictions on travel and trade would adversely affect the business environment in the third quarter.