Dubai Expo 2020 and its impact on the UAE Construction Industry

Posted on 26th November 2013

If Dubai’s bid for hosting World Expo 2020 turns out to be successful, which we strongly believe it will, be prepared to see further economic development, enhanced infrastructure and a host of new employment opportunities along with an even stronger global reputation and new architectural landmarks. This will offer a huge lot of opportunities to all industries in the country as well as in the region. We will take a quick look at the some of the opportunities available to the region’s Construction Industry in the event of Dubai winning the bid.


  1. The UAE is developing a blueprint for the Trade Centre in Jebel Ali, the proposed site for the Expo 2020. The total cost of establishing Dubai Expo headquarters is understood to be between US$2 to US$4 billion. The 438-hectare site will be one of the largest ever used for a World Expo and will be able to cater for the 247 participants and over 25 million visitors with transport and pedestrian circulation strategies prepared accordingly.
  2. Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced that they will fast-track a US$1.36 billion expansion of the Dubai Metro’s Red Line to connect to the Dubai World Central. There are plans to construct an underground railway system to connect the different pavilions at the expo site.
  3. There will be new infrastructure as well as upgrade of the existing infrastructure and the allocated budget for development of infrastructure ranges between US$2-4 billion.
  4. The Metro expansion, new Etihad Rail and the infrastructure upgrade will open up previously less accessible locations for new businesses, retail and residential purposes.
  5. Large scale projects like The World would be complete by 2020 if Dubai wins Expo 2020 as per the views of its Developer Nakheel Properties.
  6. Renewed confidence with developers to announce new projects and bring back those projects back to life which were put on hold during the slow years.
  7. By 2018, Dubai International Airport will have increased its capacity to 90 million passengers a year from the current 60 million.
  8. A recent report on economic impact of Expo 2020 by Oxford Economics shows that Dubai Expo 2020 would support over 277,000 jobs. The report said a total of 77,149 jobs would be created between 2013-2021. The report estimates that 90 per cent of the projected 277,149 employment opportunities would occur from 2018 to 2021. This will lead to an overall demand in the residential as well as the retail market.

Beyond 2020, the Expo site will serve as a permanent attraction and will further enhance the country’s long-term appeal as a premier destination in hosting high-profile global events. After the six-month event, the 438-hectare facility hectares would be further developed as a state-of-the-art exhibition and convention centre.

We wish Dubai and UAE all the very best in its bid to host the World Expo 2020.

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