Dubai gov't to lead funding for $8.8bn Expo 2020

Doubling number of hotel rooms a key part of city's preparations

25 million visitors are expected to attend Dubai 2020.
25 million visitors are expected to attend Dubai 2020.

Dubai will invest $8.8bn to develop facilities for the Expo 2020 event, with a senior official saying the government will provide "a significant amount" of the funding.

Development will pick up pace beginning next year as Dubai sets into motion its masterplan for the prestigious event, key government agencies revealed at the ongoing Destination Dubai 2020 conference.

Helal Saeed al-Marri, director-general at Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said a "significant amount" of the funding will come from the government, but there was also an opportunity for the private sector to invest.

Al-Marri said in a statement that there was a significant opportunity for foreign direct investment (FDI) from the event.

In the opening keynote session at the conference, Al-Marri said preparation for the event involved two main areas, development of the actual Expo site and the development of the city.

"The Expo site requires significant infrastructure and development, and the team is working on designs for this. This will be very project based," he said. "The other side is city readiness. [The event] will require significant development around the city," he said.

Al-Marri said that doubling the number of hotel rooms was a key part of preparing the city to handle the 25 million visitors expected to attend the event, 70 percent of which will come from outside the UAE.

This will include a number of "good quality" three- and four-star hotels.

The DTCM chief said the newly created Higher Committee would coordinate the activities of all the different government entities to ensure all projects are delivered on time.

The ongoing Destination Dubai 2020 event is the first conference to detail the very latest developments in Dubai's preparations for the Expo 2020.

Earlier this month, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued a decree to set up a committee to oversee preparations for the Expo 2020 event.

The UAE Vice President and Prime Minister's decree said the committee would come under the supervision of Dubai Crown Prince and chairman of Dubai Executive Council, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The move is the first step of Dubai's practical preparations to host the world's largest and most prestigious exhibition which it won the right to host in November.

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