Complex Made Simple

Dubai to award $3 billion construction contracts for Expo 2020

Dubai will award 47 construction contracts worth 11 billion dirhams ($3 billion) to local and foreign companies this year as it prepares to host the 2020 World Expo, the government-backed body arranging the world’s fair said on Monday.

That would leave Dubai on track to complete most construction a year before the fair opens in October 2020, Expo 2020 Dubai said. Deals worth over 2 billion dirhams were done last year.

This year’s contracts will include construction of car parking, three districts that will hold most of the pavilions, and public areas.

Development of the expo site, which the government expects to require $6.8 billion of capital spending, is one of the biggest projects in Dubai’s history and will help to open up a new district in the south of the wealthy emirate.

Officials say the spending will be funded through a combination of equity from the government and debt backed by other nations’ export credit agencies.

HSBC has estimated overall expo-related spending, including private sector projects, may reach $18.3 billion. Authorities project the expo will attract 25 million visits during the six months it is open.

A huge exhibition centre will be built on the 438-hectare (1,082 acre) expo site, plus thousands of new hotel rooms and an extension to Dubai’s metro line.

With the involvement of private companies, authorities aim to have 80 percent of the expo site in use after the event ends.