Although the exact impact of Expo 2020 on the UAE cannot be predicated with absolute certainty, it is already possible to make several educated guesses about which industries it will affect the most. Below is a detailing of the four top fields the Expo will undoubtedly impact in the times ahead.
Infrastructure: The site where Expo 2020 will be hosted in will cover a total of 438 hectares and is located in Jebel Ali the Dubai South district near Al Maktoum International Airport (BIE). This massive enterprise will require an estimated 8 billion dollars according to Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, one of the top finance officials. To complement the construction of the site, Dubai will see an up rise in new metro stations, buildings, hotels, roads, new homes, schools and shopping centers to be able to accommodate the large influx of people expected during this time (ADAT).
Economy: Dubai is bound to also see a spike in the economy especially considering it is expecting approximately 25 million visitors during the Expo 2020. The hospitality, travel and leisure and media sectors will be at an all time high, and the transportation (taxis and metro) as well as communication sectors will also greatly benefit from the Expo. “Of the period’s total gross-value added (GVA) to GDP of $10.3bn, 68 percent is expected to be felt in the construction sector, with another 20 of spending, roughly equal to $1.28bn, directed towards Dubai’s SME sector” (Arabian Business).
Job Market: According to a report from EY, the Expo is also expected to generate as many as “905,200 full-time equivalent (FTE) job-years in the UAE between 2013 and 2031, approximately the equivalent of 49,700 FTE jobs each year in the same period. The figure does not include the estimated 30,000 volunteers” (Arabian Business).
Real Estate: The increased supply of property is already being felt in the property market and there is talk that it will continue to impact prices this year. Having said that, with the governments launch of more lax rules regarding property ownership and extended visas; larger investment in real estate is expected because it is actively being incentivized “and will allow the UAE to keep the momentum created by tourism boost after the Expo ends in April 2021”. The aforementioned initiatives particularly the launch of 5 and 10 year visas are likely to soak up some of the current and upcoming property supply which in turn is expected to stabilize property market prices.
“Additionally, the Dubai Land Department may consider tokenizing properties, which will open a wider international demand and, consequently, increase the property prices. We hope to reach an equilibrium price by the Expo 2020, especially as there are an additional 46,000 units planned to be handed over after June 2020.” According to Gulf Business, the new metro line that has been put in place will lead to five new prime residential locations with competitive priced units that will surely inspire Expo visitors to consider the option of relocating to the region (Gulf Business).
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