x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Price tag for Dubai's Expo 2020 dream: Dh30.84 billion

The total cost is listed in euros in a budget in Dubai's official bid dossier as €6.46 billion.

DUBAI // It will cost the UAE Dh30.84 billion to host Expo 2020 in Dubai if its bid is successful.

The total bill is listed in euros in a budget in Dubai’s official bid dossier as €6.46bn.

Capital funding of €5.21bn would be required – but this figure includes some projects, such as a Metro extension, that are likely to go ahead whether or not the expo bid succeeds.

The team says the fair’s projected €1.25bn operating costs would be covered by revenues from ticket sales, sponsorship, food and beverage sales, merchandising and other sources.

Various tickets are likely to be offered, including general admission, night, family, three-day and season.

The dossier includes detailed plans for ensuring the safety of the public and staff. Everyone entering the site will pass through security checks and safety operations will be run from a command and control centre.

The bid has six premier partners – Dubai Airports, Emirates Airline, Emirates NBD, Etisalat, DP World and Jumeirah Group.

This approach to partnerships has gained valuable international exposure for the bid and the team plans to continue with it if Dubai is chosen as the host city.

The dossier states the expo would attract 25 million visitors, who would make 33 million visits. It is thought 7.5 million would come from the UAE and the rest from abroad.

The team estimates that 182 guest nations would take part and display areas of various sizes would be available. Countries would either build their own pavilions or occupy ones constructed by the organisers.

Some pavilions could eventually become landmarks in other parts of the city or beyond, as there are plans to relocate them either on site or elsewhere after the expo.

The organisers would encourage developing nations to take part by covering their costs and providing free exhibition space.

The fair would be managed by an organising committee made up of representatives from government, academic institutions and industry.

The expo theme is Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, and there are three sub-themes – mobility, sustainability and opportunity. The thinking behind the bid is set out in the dossier’s prologue.

“The Dubai Expo 2020 theme, Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, reflects the belief that tomorrow’s challenges will be far too complex to be met in isolation,” it states.

“They will require partnerships, networks and collaboration to foster the innovative, inspirational and practical solutions needed to forge a sustainable path for progress.

“The Dubai Expo 2020 aspiration reflects the essence of what the United Arab Emirates has always done uniquely and best. A country born of settlements that were historically trading posts and fertile oases, the UAE has always maintained a resilient spirit and an open, welcoming attitude.”

Helal Saeed Al Marri, chief executive of Dubai World Trade Centre and a member of the Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, said: “The master plan for our proposed site for the 2020 world expo will reflect the UAE’s focus on both connectivity and sustainability. We will use the latest technology to develop state-of-the-art infrastructure and ensure an entertaining, educational and seamless expo experience for global visitors and participants, while also creating a lasting legacy for generations to come.”

The prologue of the dossier concludes by stating the UAE would be honoured to host the expo: “We look forward to the day in 2020 when we will say to the world with our arms outstretched: Ahlan Wa Sahlan. Welcome to Dubai.”

csimpson@thenational.ae