Expo 2020 expected to deliver $24bn economic boost

Dubai event expected to raise overall GDP in a variety of sectors

Travel, Dubai, Dubai expo 2020, Expo 2020

Dubai's Expo 2020 is expected to yield AED89 billion (US $24.2 billion) in added economic activities, according to Reem Al Hashimi, the managing director of the Expo 2020 Executive Body.

In a speech in Sharjah, Al Hashimi, also UAE Minister of State, said the event would also raise the overall GDP of the country in a variety of sectors.

She added that Expo 2020 will provide 277,000 new job opportunities and will have a positive and comprehensive economic impact on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Al Hashimi's statements were made to a gathering of more than 300 from Sharjah Executive Council members, directors general of government entities, dignitaries, and CEOs of private sector companies in Sharjah and other Emirates, news agency WAM reported.

Al Hashimi said: "We entered our bid portfolio assured that we have the required elements to host an Expo. Our unique geographic location connects us to a third of the world through a four-hour flight and two-thirds of the world through an 8 hour flight."

Last week, a new survey conducted by Department of Economic Development said Dubai's Expo 2020 victory had lifted business confidence in the emirate in the first quarter of 2014.

Optimism is especially high among manufacturing and services firms, said the Business Confidence Index for Dubai.

The index stood at 135.5 points in Q1, an increase of 22.4 points from Q1 2013. New projects expected as a result of Expo 2020 are driving positive perceptions, a statement said.

Earlier this month, it was announced that the construction of Dubai's Expo 2020 site will be completed by October 2019.

Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre and Expo Preparatory Committee member, also said site readiness activity will commence on the Dubai Trade Centre-Jebel Ali site early next year.

Plans to extend the Red Line of Dubai Metro and to launch a zero-emission bus services were also confirmed by officials.

The details were included in a progress update on Dubai Expo 2020.

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