(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The UAE on Tuesday launched the country's campaign to host the 2020 World Expo in Dubai and the emirate is ready to invest as much as 4 billion to build the infrastructure for the prestigious event that takes place once every five years.
Following an official bid submitted in November last year, the global campaign will underscore why Dubai is the ideal candidate to host this international event.
Dubai will be competing with five other candidates including Russia, Brazil, Turkey and Thailand.
"The city is home to more than 200 different nationalities, who live and work together in harmony. They do so in an environment that is safe, tolerant and open to the world. That's why we believe that Dubai is the perfect city to host the 2020 World Expo," Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman and CEO of the Emirates airline and Group, and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo, told reporters at a news conference.
Under the theme, "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future", the 2020 World Expo in Dubai will serve as a global hub for ideas and a springboard for creativity, Shaikh Ahmed said, adding that its UAE bid and Dubai is the host city."
The UAE has proposed hosting the six-month Expo at "Exhibition City," a 400-hectare site to be constructed on the southwestern edge of Dubai, adjacent to Dubai World Central, home to Al Maktoum International Airport, which will host the 2013 Dubai Airshow.
Shaikh Ahmed said that by 2020 Al Maktoum International will be the largest airport in the world that will be able to handle up to 120 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of air cargo per year.
He mentioned that expos generate a significant return on investment, so the benefits of hosting the Expo are clear. Talking about economic benefits and expected investment for the project, Dubai World Trade Centre chief executive officer Hilal Al Marri said in most of the cities it has been noticed that income is higher than the investment on the project. "The bid, which we are currently developing is include a full analysis of the actual infrastructure requirements for the bid and the expected revenue... but the range which we have looked is between 2 billion to 4 billion is the type of cost, which we have seen across the analysis for the main infrastructure of the event. Our estimate would be similar," Al Marri said.
The campaign kicked off in parallel with the first official visit to the UAE by Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales, secretary-general of the Bureau International des Expositions, or BIE, the intergovernmental organisation in charge of overseeing the calendar, bidding, selection, and organisation of world and international expos. Loscertales is meeting a range of high-level decision-makers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
"Expos are unique events of international cooperation dedicated to the communication of innovation and the promotion of global dialogue," said Loscertales. "We look forward to learning more about the UAE project, its vision and its bid campaign for hosting World Expo 2020 in Dubai."
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and Managing Director of the Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo, said that "by connecting people, which lies at the heart of our vision as a cosmopolitan nation, we can foster greater cooperation and understanding between peoples and cultures."
"By connecting minds, we celebrate our common aspirations and work to create a brighter future. That is our vision for the 2020 World Expo in Dubai. We see the 2020 World Expo as an opportunity to celebrate our achievements as a nation on the eve of our 50th National Day, which we will mark in 2021," Al Hashimy said.
In November of last year, the UAE officially presented its bid to the BIE in Paris, France, to host the World Expo in Dubai between January 4-June 30, 2020. The bid is being led by the Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo.