The Big Event is now 34 months away (opening in October 2020). Dubai is not resting on its laurels and many construction projects are already under way.
The International Monetary Fund recently forecasted that GDP in the UAE may grow as fast as 4% during 2017, up from 2.7% in 2016. The projected growth compares with an average 2.3% for the Middle East and North Africa. The increase is attributed to an improvement in global trade and increased government spending in the run-up to Expo 2020.1
Expo organizers plan to award 47 construction contracts in 2017 worth AED 11 billion in preparation for the event. This is in addition to the 1,200 contracts that were awarded in 2016, worth around AED 2 billion to the economy.
The UAE will require an additional 45,000 hotel rooms to match the rising demand by 2020 and an investment of nearly $7.1bn is expected in hotel projects.3 STR Global Market Research reports that the Emirate is leading the expansion of the hospitality sector in the region with around 99 hotels under construction. This is the highest number in the MENA region.2
All these real estate developments are stimulating growth among other industries and consequently Dubai is attracting foreign investments.
Once Expo 2020 closes in April 2021, over 80% of the 4.38 square kilometer site will be reused, with a focus on four ‘high priority’ industries: education; transport and logistics; travel and tourism; and real estate.2