DUBAI, Nov 27 – Dubai has done it. After months of breathless wait and excitement, the Emirate was finally chosen on Wednesday to host the World Expo 2020 at the 154th BIE General Assembly in Paris. The UAE received 116 votes out of a total of 165.
“It was a hard-fought victory; we were up against strong competitors, to whom we offer our full respect and sincere wishes,” said the Dubai Expo 2020 team in a tweet as celebrations broke out across the UAE over the stunning victory at a time when the nation is preparing to celebrate the 42nd National Day.
President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan called His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to congratulate him on the spectacular win.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Higher Committee on Hosting the World Expo 2020 in Dubai tweeted from Paris: “I would like to congratulate #UAE President, @HHShkMohd & the people of #UAE on winning Expo 2020.”
The World Expo 2020 will be held in Dubai under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, as announced by the Bureau International des Exhibitions (BIE) following voting by its member nations. It will be the first World Expo for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (Menasa) region, helping to unlock the vast potential of this area and creating significant opportunities for its more than two billion people.
“We are immensely proud to have been awarded the honor of hosting World Expo 2020 and thank the member states of the BIE for entrusting us with the spirit and values of the Expo. We will protect and be guided by them in delivering an exceptional Expo with a lasting legacy that will touch the lives of people across the globe for generations to come. The bid has been an incredible journey, led by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and we thank him for his faith in the Dubai Expo 2020 committee. The competition has been fierce and we respectfully commend our competitors. We also thank everyone, from across the nation, the region and beyond, who has supported Dubai Expo 2020 with unexpected and overwhelming enthusiasm,” said Sheikh Ahmed.
“This is a moment to be embraced and owned by the entire nation and beyond – this is your Expo. It is an Expo for the World. The vision of our bid has always been about more than just Dubai and the UAE. It has been about creating opportunity for the wider region and developing a truly global platform to find the innovative solutions required to address the future of Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity, that impact all of our futures. Under the theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Dubai Expo 2020 will provide unprecedented opportunities for visitors, participants and for the member nations of the BIE,” he added.
Earlier, Dubai had come first again in Round 2 of voting with 87 votes in its favor accounting for 52.73 per cent of the total votes cast. Ekaterinburg had come in second with 24.85 per cent of the vote.
Izmir in Turkey was eliminated after getting 21.82 per cent of the vote. It was between Ekaterinburg and Dubai which will go head-to-head in the Final Round. Earlier, the UAE ranked first in the first round of voting to select the host city for the World Expo 2020.
Dubai’s economy is set to receive an added value boost of roughly €17.7 billion, not to mention the innumerable economic opportunities that will be generated boosting the the UAE and regional economy.
An estimated 25 million visitors are set to arrive in the country as a result of a successful bid. A total of 270,000 jobs are expected to be created to cater to an expanded economy.