Dubai to build largest ever Expo site

Jebel Ali Dubai World Central (DWC) site to cost between $2-4bn

NEWS, Business

Dubai is to build the largest ever Expo site at Jebel Ali Dubai World Central (DWC) ahead of hosting the event in 2020 at a cost of between $2-4bn.

And Cynthia Corby, audit partner, construction industry leader, Deloitte Middle East, revealed ‘secondary infrastructure spend’ will be upwards of $8bn, and will include construction opportunities in the transport, hospitality, retail and commercial sectors.

She said: “With Dubai winning Expo 2020 we will see renewed confidence in the already improving construction industry. In a market that relies upon confidence and optimism, this is a much-needed stimulus to create momentum for a renewed development and economic cycle.”

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has revealed that they will fast-track a $1.36bn expansion of Dubai Metro’s Red Line to connect to DWC.

And Emaar Properties have announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with DWC to develop a massive (13.63mn m2) golf-centred residential estate adjacent to the area surrounding the Expo 2020 site.

In the company's report: 'Expo 2020: A game changer for Dubai', Corby said: “These are the first of many announcements regarding large-scale projects being planned in the wake of the Expo win.

“It only takes a quick analysis of the impact of an expected additional 20mn international visitors over a six-month period to see that significant investment in hospitality and retail infrastructure will be required.”

It is estimated that up to 30% of the potential 300,000 jobs created by Expo 2020 will be in the construction sector alone.

The government has also announced that all new and existing construction projects are going to be fast- tracked to be ready for 2020.

However, Jesdev Saggar, managing director, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Deloitte Corporate Finance Limited, urged a level of caution as the Emirate continues its recovery from the economic crisis that enveloped the world in 2009.

He said: “Dubai has been dealing with the close out of its financial obligations over the downturn years and the lessons learnt during the close out of these obligations would be usefully applied to avoid this pressure as the government is to embark on funding future infrastructure to meet the demands of hosting a global event.

“While challenging, that does not mean that it cannot be done, these challenges can be met with the right planning and coordination of spend across all the authorities.

“Expo, like any major event is all about coordination and planning and its success or failure will be a result of how well the authorities unite to capitalise on its potential.”

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