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Expo 2020 Dubai to add $33bn to the UAE economy, create new jobs

New EY report finds that Expo 2020 Dubai will help SMEs attract $1.3-billion during the pre-expo phase and generate new work

Expo 2020 Dubai will run from October 2020 to April 2021.
CW Archives
Expo 2020 Dubai will run from October 2020 to April 2021.

The much anticipated six-month long Expo 2020 Dubai, which will run from 20 October, 2020 to 10 April, 2021, is expected to attract $22bn (AED122.6bn) into the UAE economy between 2013-31, according to a recent report titled The Economic Impact of Expo 2020 Dubai by UK-headquartered global research firm, Ernst & Young (EY). 

The GCC country is also expected to create 905,200 full-time equivalent (FTE) job-years between 2013-31 on the back of the World Expo. The number is is equal to 49,700 FTE jobs per annum.

EY's report states that the six months of the World Expo, which is expected to have a footfall of 25 million visitors from more than 190 countries, will contribute nearly 1.5% of the UAE’s annual GDP, Dubai Media Office reported.

According to the impact study, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are projected to attract $1.3bn (AED4.7bn) in investment during the pre-Expo 2020 Dubai phase, supporting the event’s aim to boost innovation and support small businesses. The investments will also create 12,600 job-years.

Expo 2020 Dubai will contribute $33bn to the UAE economy [© Dubai Media Office].

Commenting on the findings, Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, executive director of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, said: “This independent report demonstrates that Expo 2020 Dubai is a critical long-term investment in the future of the UAE, which will contribute more than [$32.7bn] to the economy between 2013 and 2031.”

Al-Ali stressed that the World Expo would "bolster travel and tourism in the UAE and support economic diversification" even after its conclusion in April 2021.


In the legacy period between May 2021 and December 2031, the Expo 2020 Dubai site will be revamped to District 2020, which is expected to include tenant companies and an expanded Dubai Exhibition Centre. Post-Expo 2020 Dubai, more than 80% of its built environment will be used as District 2020.

Eighty-percent of Expo 2020 Dubai infra will become District 2020 [CW Archives].

The report reveals that the economic impact of the legacy period will be boosted by the development activity and operations of the District 2020 and the incremental effects of the expansion of the DEC.

Commenting on the period between 2013 and 2031, Jamie Torrens, director of economic advisory and transaction advisory services at EY, said: “Across the period of our study, spanning the pre-expo, during-expo, and legacy phases between 2013 and 2031, Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to support billions of dirhams of gross value added and thousands of jobs in the UAE."

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Construction Week - Issue 751
Oct 13, 2019