Complex Made Simple

Here’s how the UAE’s preparing for the region’s biggest expo ever

This is the biggest event that any nation can ever organize.  It takes place every 5 years and lasts up to 6 months.

Less than three years from now, Expo 2020, the region’s biggest event ever, will be held to attract 25 million visitors; 70 per cent of whom are expected to come from outside the UAE.

150 nations have already confirmed their participation in Expo 2020 in Dubai, including 15 new announcements of participation. The new announcements included the participation of the US, Austria, Malaysia and Mexico.

According to Euronews, the last expo, which took place in Milan, received 1.3 billion euros ($1.5bn) in public investment, 0.3bn euros ($0.35bn) from sponsors and private investors and 1bb euros ($1.16bn) from official participants.

The economic return for Italy was estimated at 10bn euros ($11.6), 5bn euros ($5.08bn) of which are expected to be generated from Italy’s tourist industry.

This frames the expectations for Dubai.

Read: Run up to 2020: How Dubai is evolving

Preparations for Expo 2020 are being undertaken in the Emirate with a number of projects in the pipeline to welcome the big event.

According to Expo Dubai 2016 annual review, AED 23bn ($6.26bn) are being invested in urban developments and infrastructure projects to host Expo 2020 Dubai, which represents approximately 70 per cent of the total estimated cost of the event.

What are some of these projects?

 Metro station

UAE’s road and transport Authority (RTA) awarded a $2.8bn  contract to the Alstom-led consortium Expolink to design and build an extension for the Metro’s Red Line and upgrade the system of the existing line in June 2016.

Known as Route 2020, the 15 km-extension will include seven stations and is currently under construction to connect the existing network with Expo 2020’s site.

The extended line, expected to go operational on May 20, 2020, will span 15km, comprising an 11.8km viaduct and a 3.2 km underground track.

Read: Expo 2020 three-year countdown. How ready is Dubai?

 DP World’s terminal 3

Global trade enabler DP World is increasing container handling productivity at its flagship Jebel Ali Port, by adding 1.5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) to Container Terminal 3, according to a statement issued by the company.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DP World, said: “Increasing the handling capacity at Terminal 3 is in response to the high levels of utilisation at the port and with the recovery in volumes the medium-term outlook remains positive, particularly with the lead up to Expo 2020.”

“Volumes are rising again in our UAE Region and we expect Expo 2020 and the opening up of new markets to drive medium-term growth. The on-going improvements to capacity and productivity at Jebel Ali send out a clear message to our customers that their favourite port in the region remains focused on providing them with the first rate service and efficiency they expect from us,” he added.

Read:A look at the very impressive Expo 2020 Dubai’s Plaza

Hotel apartment projects

Construction projects, especially hotel apartments, are rising due to the huge demand that the Expo 2020 is expected to make.

For instance, Damac announced that its hotel apartment projects in New Dubai and Dubai South were more than 80 percent sold out and expected that demand for its hotel apartment projects would continue to rise, as Expo 2020 nears with investors looking to have their hands on units ahead of the huge demand that the Expo will generate.

Niall McLoughlin, Senior Vice President at DAMAC, said: “As construction ramps up in preparation for Expo 2020, it is no surprise that investors are looking for real estate in this district to reap the highest rental yields early before demand drives prices up.”

“As we near Expo 2020, sales and rental prices of units in Dubai South and the surrounding areas are likely to increase due to the rising demand by tourists and business visitors. It is expected that Dubai South will house one million residents and employ more than 500,000. When coupled with the anticipated 20 million visitors likely to come through Dubai in 2020, residential and hospitality units in this area will continue to be in demand,” continued McLoughlin.