Expo 2020 Dubai and its legacy are expected to contribute AED122.6 billion ($33.4 bln) of gross value added (GVA) to the UAE’s economy from 2013–31, according to the EY report, ‘The economic impact of Expo 2020 Dubai’.
The report states that Expo 2020 is also expected to support up to 905,200 full-time equivalent (FTE) job-years in the UAE from 2013–31, which is equal to approximately 49,700 FTE jobs per annum in the UAE over this period.
Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director of the Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, says: “This independent report demonstrates that Expo 2020 Dubai is a critical long-term investment in the future of the UAE, which will contribute more than 120 billion dirhams to the economy between 2013 and 2031.”
“Not only will the event encourage millions around the world to visit the UAE in 2020, it will also stimulate travel and tourism and support economic diversification for years after the Expo, leaving a sustainable economic legacy that will help to ensure the UAE remains a leading destination for business, leisure and investment.”
Matthew Benson, Partner, Transaction Advisory Services, MENA, EY, says: “Expo 2020 is an exciting long-term investment for the UAE, and is expected to have a significant impact on the economy and how jobs are created directly and indirectly. As the host, Dubai aims to use the event to further enhance its international profile and reputation. The event will celebrate innovation, promote progress and foster cooperation, and entertain and educate global audiences.”
Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to attract 25 million visits and participants from 190 countries from October 2020 to April 2021. During this period, the World Expo is expected to contribute approximately 1.5% of the UAE’s annual forecast gross domestic product (GDP).
In addition, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are estimated to receive AED 4.7 billion in investment during the pre-Expo phase, supporting approximately 12,600 job-years, while also supporting Expo 2020’s aim to foster innovation and support small businesses.
Jamie Torrens, Director, Economic Advisory, Transaction Advisory Services, EY, says: “Across the period of our study, spanning the Pre-Expo, During-Expo and Legacy phases between 2013 and 2031, Expo 2020 is expected to support billions of dirhams of Gross Value Added (GVA) and thousands of jobs in the UAE. Although the Expo event lasts less than a year, the positive economic impact continues far beyond the event.”
In the Legacy period (May 2021 to December 2031), the Expo site is expected to be redeveloped to District 2020, which is expected to include tenant companies and an expanded Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC).
District 2020 has been planned to support the UAE’s future vision by supporting sustainable economic development, moving toward an innovation-driven economy and creating a business environment to help support key growth industries such as logistics and transport, travel and tourism, construction and real estate and education.
Over 80% of the Expo built environment is planned to be retained for District 2020, and eventually expand into a city covering more than four million square meters. District 2020 companies will be focused on technology and innovation, including a mix of corporations and SMEs. The DEC is also expected to be a key facility in the site.
The economic impact of the Legacy period is mainly expected to be driven by the development activity and operations of District 2020 and the incremental effects of the expansion of the DEC.
‘The economic impact of Expo 2020 Dubai’ report by EY considered ‘direct’ increases in economic activity, ‘indirect’ benefits of increased supply chain demand and ‘induced’ benefits from increased spending by employees of firms involved in Expo 2020.
Expo 2020 Dubai is the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region in the 168-year history of the event. More than 200 participants, including countries, corporations, multinational organizations and educational institutions, will gather in Dubai from October 2020 to April 2021 to explore Expo 2020’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.