Expo 2020 Dubai -- which will take place from 20th October 2020 to 10th April 2021 -- is expected to add AED 122.6 billion to the economy, while adding thousands of new job opportunities in the following years. The world expo, following the theme 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future', is the first such expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. It aims to bring the biggest and latest inventions of the modern era under one roof, and give the 192 participating countries a platform to share knowledge and discuss business and trade collaborations.
Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Director-General of the Expo 2020 Dubai Office, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, speaking at a press briefing, said, "Meeting people from around the world under the banner of the expo is exactly what our planet needs, in order to overcome the challenges it faces by exploring new solutions and ideas. Our focus at the Expo 2020 Dubai is on the future."
The major infrastructure and construction work on the expo site has been completed, including the area where the sub-themes of "Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability" will be showcased.
Expo 2020 has already created many jobs directly in the UAE. It has been advertising opportunities and recruiting people from all sectors, from construction workers to ticketing and marketing professionals.
25 million visitors are expected to visit the expo during its six-month run, out of which 70 percent will be people from outside the UAE. A report by consultancy EY, titled The economic impact of Expo 2020 Dubai (published in April 2019), estimated that the event will add around 49,700 jobs per year (905,200 full-time equivalent (FTE) job-years) between 2013-2031. Job opportunities will be created in fields like finance, accounting, taxation, legal, human resources, etc. and industries like retail, FMCG, hospitality and construction.
Expo 2020 has already had a positive impact on UAE-based businesses. The report also stated that Expo 2020, at its peak, will create business equivalent to 1.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Small and medium-sized enterprises will receive an estimated total of AED 4.7 billion in investment (12,600 job-years) during the pre-expo phase. In September 2019, Department of Economic Development in Dubai issued 4,057 new licenses for different professional, commercial, industrial and tourism activities.
Dubai District 2020: Beyond the Expo
For people concerned about what happens to the expo architecture, art, pavilions, etc., there is some very good news. More than 80 percent of the expo’s assets and environment -- with the site spanning almost three million square metres -- will be reused. It will be retained in District 2020, in the heart of Dubai South, adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport and situated at the junction of four major highways. This will be an integrated community which will eventually expand into a city covering an area of more than four million square metres.
This area will support UAE’ future vision for ‘sustainable economic development’ through innovations and new technology, with a focus on construction and real estate, logistics and transport, travel and tourism, and the education sector. The district will be home to large corporations as well as small-and-medium sized businesses. It will also have museums, galleries and academic institutions. It will retain Expo 2020’s conference and exhibition centre, developed by Dubai World Trade Centre. The Sustainability Pavilion will be converted into a Children and Science Centre. The transition of the site from Expo 2020 to District 2020 will begin from 11th April 2021, following the conclusion of the world’s fair.