The emirate of Dubai hopes that its hosting of the 2020 world’s trade fair held every five years would draw more investment to the economy that is still recovering from financial crisis that required Abu Dhabi to bail it out.
The United Arab Emirates state defeated competition from Turkey, Russia and Brazil on Wednesday to become host of the Expo 2020. Dubai hopes the prize will give an additional boost to the recovering property and tourism based economy.
The site where the fair will be held is across more than 438 hectares in the desert, which is 10 times bigger than Vatican City. This stretch of land is close to where Dubai has been pushing most of its new development.
The government has projected that the fair, which is six months long will inject over $6.8 billion into the local economy and create over 277,000 jobs.
It forecast an increase in gross domestic product of over $20.6 billion, which is equal to nearly 44% of the total for 2012.
Deutsche Bank has said the that Dubai needs over $43 billion to make upgrades to its infrastructure with the bulk going to built new hotels and other types of leisure facilities. Over $10 billion more would be needed for transportation infrastructure.
Although a good part of the investment that was earmarked for the 2020 fair was included in the master plan, Vision 2020, the win by Dubai will increase its confidence and implementation of the plan.
The emirate invested heavily in transforming itself into a regional tourism transport, trade and financial services center it is today, from a sleeping unknown location during the 1950s.
GDP growth is expected to now increase to as much as 6% during 2014, compared to 4.9% during the first six months of 2014.
Barclays Bank said it expected a growth from the fair of 6.4% each year over the next three years, with a potential for 10.5% growth annually to 2020.
Dubai’s economy is in a state of strong recovery from the crisis that led to shrinkage of 2.9% in 2009, as the emirates once massively popular property sector crashed and the companies that were government linked struggled under large amounts of debt.