World’s Mega Event
The UAE has taken the global center stage with the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai which is termed rightly as the extravaganza of business, technology, connectivity, and culture. One may wonder on the long term objectivity of this mega event, but the policymakers of the UAE are confident about the long term economic legacy the Expo is bound to create.
With 191 country pavilions and themed exhibitions at the Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability pavilions, the eagerly awaited Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to draw in more than 25 million visitors.
Many countries and large companies are looking to the expo, which is the first major global event open to visitors since the pandemic, to spur economic activity and boost investor confidence.
Expo 2020 Dubai will showcase the latest and boldest innovations across the globe and will be a platform to present solutions to the future for the world in quest for remedies.
UAE – Today and Future
UAE’s approach to future and progress are reflected in the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it. It isn’t something you await, but rather create.”
The UAE has set its target high to be the numero uno in all the competitive indexes by the centennial anniversary of the Union in 2071. The aspiring national strategy “Towards the next 50” aims to represent the UAE’s next 50 years, building on the foundation of the progress made in the past 50 years.
The roadmap chartered by the UAE for the future includes visionary initiatives like the UAE Centennial Plan 2071, Food Security Strategy 2051, Dubai Clean Energy Strategy, Fujairah 2040 plan, National Advanced Sciences Agenda 2031, Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, Environment Vision 2030, Dubai Industrial Strategy 2031, Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, United Global Emirates and Make it in the Emirates and these programs will be guided by the recently announced ‘Principles of the 50′.
Currently, the UAE is placed very high on World Bank’s annual ease of doing business ranking and is always streamlining the processes to better the position. The UAE is the only Arab Country to be listed in the top 10 competitive countries for 4 consecutive years. Dubai has been ranked the fifth best city in the world and was hailed for its innovation, infrastructure, iconic landmarks and world class entertainment.
The credit of the UAE being ranked third among 27 emerging global economies goes to the leadership’s long term strategies on being a testbed for imagining, designing and executing future innovations.
The economic and political environments which are highly conducive for businesses to thrive make the nation a favourable destination for enterprises across the spectrum – from large multinational conglomerates, small and medium businesses to fleet-footed, innovative startups.
The decisive economic measures and new amendments to the residency and investment legislations initiated by the leadership of UAE has stimulated the flow of foreign investments into the country.
The word ‘futuristic’ has become synonymous with the UAE, as a country that not only embraces the future, but courageously create it!
Expo and the UAE Economy
The positive impact of Expo 2020 Dubai, which is arguably the world’s largest event is already visible in almost all the spheres of life, especially among businesses in the UAE. The local businesses are showing immense confidence and strong optimism and the immediate results are seen in key sectors such as travel and tourism and hospitality, with the influx of foreign visitors arriving for the mega event.
The global investment forums, investor pitching conferences and the networking opportunities at the Expo 2020 Dubai is set to create lot of investment interests from across the globe. Even if 0.5% of the visitors decide to invest in businesses in the UAE, we are talking about 125,000 new set ups!
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecasted an economic growth of 3.1% this year for the country, which is higher than the Central Bank’s estimate which projected that the UAE economy will expand 2.1% this year.
The second-biggest Arab economy is expected to reap benefits of the Expo for the next nine years as the Expo legacy is going to drive more international investments. Expo 2020 is expected to give a significant boost of USD33 billion to the UAE economy and is estimated to add more than 900,000 jobs between 2013 (Expo awarded year) and 2031.
UAE’s banking assets are expected to grow by 10% next year, as the Expo has given a much needed impetus to the UAE economy, while other economies are still trying hard to recover from the pandemic-driven slowdown.
A diversified portfolio of public-private partnership (PPP) projects worth more than 25 billion Dirhams was recently announced by Dubai on the sidelines of Expo, which includes projects in the urban development, road and transport as well as health and safety sectors. It is noteworthy that the total value of Dubai’s existing and announced PPP projects now exceeds 65 billion Dirhams. In addition to the fiscal benefits, PPP is a way forward in involving private capital for economic diversification, attracting FDI and promoting local businesses and start-ups, thus help Dubai in creating a sustainable economic growth model.
As the stage is set with the 100% foreign ownership legislation, the visa reforms, ease of arbitration and excellent infrastructure, Dubai is set to see a transformation of industries from fintech to food production. Foreign investments are expected in key sectors particularly those associated with the knowledge economy and advanced technologies which includes Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Blockchain, innovative medical technologies, high-speed transportation, augmented virtual reality, self-driving cars and renewable energy.
The Expo 2020 will definitely attract more investment and talent to Dubai and the UAE, as this mega show will be showcasing the exciting opportunities not only for entrepreneurs and businesses but also for creative and innovative individuals.