Implementing a strong legacy strategy that will benefit both participants and the local economy is a key component of Dubai's Expo 2020 preparations, said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the event's Preparatory Higher Committee.
Sheikh Ahmed told global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group, or OBG, that thinking past Expo 2020 Dubai and going "beyond the physical assets being developed onsite” had been a focus, back even when the emirate made its initial bid to host the world fair.
"Investment from countries and corporations in their Expo participation is often significant and it is critical that we provide an after-use plan for some of their assets where possible,” said Sheikh Ahmed, who is also President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Emirates airline and Chief Executive of the Emirates Group.
Sheikh Ahmed said legacy plans currently under consideration were aimed at creating value for both participants and the local economy. "For example, by keeping pavilion structures on the Expo site or moving them to a different part of the city, region or world, we can create a lasting platform of the shared experiences, connections and partnerships that have developed through Expo 2020 Dubai,” he said.
The full interview with Sheikh Ahmed appears in "The Report: Dubai 2015”, OBG's latest report on the emirate's economy.
Dubai's preparations for Expo 2020 are gathering momentum. Last month saw the emirate launch a business engagement programme aimed at encouraging regional and global enterprises to invest in the expo, while a business procurement portal and a commercial sponsorship programme have also been rolled out.
The government is targeting 25 million visitors, including 17 million from overseas, for the world fair, Sheikh Ahmed told OBG. Organisers expect Expo 2020 Dubai to yield economic benefits of around US$18.7 billion by 2021, creating approximately 275,000 jobs in the run-up. Analysts, meanwhile, calculate that the fair will require some US$8 billion in investment.
Sheikh Ahmed said infrastructure had a key role to play in helping the expo reach its potential. "We now have two airports on offer… a new regional railway system will be in place, and the UAE will continue to serve as a significant port of call for international shipping and logistics,” he said.
He told OBG that energising research and innovation in the main thematic areas of the expo dovetailed with the objectives mapped out in Dubai's master plan. Dubai Expo 2020, he explained, was expected to act as a driver for the emirate's educational and cultural outreach agenda, providing knowledge-creation platforms and encouraging theme-led research and innovation.
Source: Khaleej Times