The organisers of Expo 2020 in Dubai are hoping to attract as many as 25 million visitors and add nearly $30bn to the economy of the United Arab Emirates next year.
The chief commercial officer of the world fair, Sanjive Khosla, says that achieving that goal would be an incredible benchmark and leave a lasting legacy that would demonstrate the sustainability of such massive events.
Around 70% of the Dubai South site has already been completed, and Expo 2020 is set to create around 50,000 new jobs, according to Khosla.
At London’s World Tourism Market, Khosla said that Expo 2020 is not so much a trade show as a celebration of the best creativity, culture, gastronomy and culture that the world has to offer.
Khosla believes that the expo will set a new benchmark for similar events in the future.
Expo 2020 is set to run for a six-month period from October next year.
The UAE is a young country but is in a unique position thanks to its infrastructure and its geographical location, becoming a hub for people, trade and transportation, according to Khosla.
The UAE is now an incredible melting pot for information flow and exchange as well as for ideas, he says.
The theme of the expo has, therefore, become connecting minds and creating the future.
Expo 2020 is the first world expo to be hosted by a country in the Middle East and North Africa and is intended to alter perceptions regarding the running of such major events by focusing on sustainability from the very beginning.
Around 85% of waste will be diverted from landfills to sustainable sites during the event, which will last for a total of 173 days and is expected to attract 250,000 visitors daily.
Over 190 countries have so far committed to attend the event, with organisers hoping to reach a figure of 70% of visitors coming from outside the UAE.
Khosla says that upon completion of the event, the site will be closed down for a six-month period, during which time it will be transformed and then reopen as a mixed-use business district.
Expo partners Accenture and Siemens have already expressed an interest in using the site after the completion of the event.
Dubai Tourism’s associate vice president of international operations Hoor Al Khaja says that the emirate is intending to become the most visited place in the world.
Dubai is already internationally famous for its shopping and luxury, but Al Khaja says that the emirate’s officials want to demonstrate that there is a lot more to it than this.
Al Khaja says that there are many reasons for people to take multiple trips to Dubai, with targeted sectors including the likes of adventure, gastronomy, culture and family holidays.
Anyone planning to travel to Dubai or the UAE for any reason should take out travel insurance coverage before they begin their journey.
Travel insurance guards against the financial consequences of unexpected events such as cancelled flights and luggage being lost or stolen.