In terms of prestige, glamour, and its reputation for breath-taking conspicuous wealth, there are few cities to be found anywhere in the world that can rival the grandeur of Dubai. Alongside neighbouring Abu Dhabi, it is a symbol of the UAE’s growing power and influence on the world stage, and a foremost power in its own right, thanks to its standing as one of the world’s leading business hubs.
Although it was initially built using the proceeds of the UAE’s incredible petro-riches, Dubai has long since broken its dependence on oil and gas, to the extent that oil revenues account for a fraction of the city’s GDP – just 5%, according to experts. Instead of petro-wealth, Dubai’s rapidly expanding skyline, made up of a forest of glittering skyscrapers, is soaring upwards and outwards, funded by the growth of its booming business and finance sector, as well as tourism and foreign trade – key areas of economy that account for nearly 60% of the city’s US$105.6bilion GDP.
Against the backdrop of its stunning aesthetics and Alpha++ city status, not to mention its ever more more fruitful partnerships with the world’s foremost powers, such as the US, UK, India, and China, the time is nearing for the start of the world’s most high-profile festival of trade, relationship-building, and human ingenuity – Expo 2020 Dubai.
Granted, cynics might point to the fact there is still 900 days to go before the exposition begins, but the sheer size, scale and ambition of this highly anticipated international event means that efforts to ensure the smooth running and success of Expo 2020 Dubai are already at an advanced stage. According to forecast, it is expected that over the course of the event, more than 25 million visitors will visit the UAE to attend – a huge volume that will place great strain on even Dubai’s first-rate infrastructure.
Of course, this eventuality has not escaped Expo 2020’s planners, and as a result significant resources have been allocated to expand and improve Dubai’s tourist infrastructure. Building new hotels to host guests is at the top of the agenda, and it has also been reported that all motorways leading to the exhibition will be improved with new overpasses and interchanges. Additionally, a new metro line will be operational by 2020, as will a new railway line and urban tram line will. And that’s without factoring in plans to invest in a fleet of eco-friendly taxis and buses.