May 26, 2019
With the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the future’, the UAE has called for a stare on what
is to be awaited, as its one which encapsulates the broad meaning of innovation. In the next two
years, the UAE is set to amaze the world and leave an everlasting impression on the now
generation and those to come. Many changes have been put in place to embrace the event such
as new infrastructures and visa rules, business incentives and other economy boosting measures.
In this article, we bring to light how the Expo2020 win and preparation has impacted Dubai and
other emirates so far and also delve into the hope of it reshaping the manner in which businesses
are conducted in various industries, the type of future the event will set in place and the need to
ensure that transactions are conducted properly.
How the Expo 2020 has affected the UAE region – Dubai in focus.
As the central business hub of the MENA, it is clear why the Expo 2020 preparations started
from Dubai. Taking a peak into the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’- hinged on
‘sustainability’ mobility & opportunity, the government of Dubai have started putting changes in
place to ensure that the Dubai Expo 2020 becomes an agent of global progress. A new research
shows that, the emirate of Dubai has begun to see a rise in company formation and business
setup since the victory to host the World’s Dubai’s Expo 2020 was announced.
According to the BIE (Bureau International des Exposition), the number of visitors Shanghai
hosted for its 2010 Expo (over 73 million visitors, excluding the over 246 governmental,
international organizations and Non-Governmental Organisations) is one of the factors that
enabled the country to create a long lasting legacy till date. Comparing the then preparation and
outcome of the 2010 Expo to Dubai’s 2020 Expo has shown that there is a huge hope for Dubai
in the long run. So far, over US$7 billion is being utilized for development and infrastructure
projects. Moreover, Dubai’s strategic location between the developing and developed countries
of the world places it at an advantage for a wider influx of visitors during and after the event.
Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure, Retail and Consumer Business
There is no iota of doubt that the Dubai’s Expo 2020 will have a significant effect on the Dubai
Tourism, Hospitality, and Retail Business industry. The expected number of over 170 million
Visitors has already attracted investors from far and near in the years leading to the event, says a
recent statistic. Notwithstanding the number of hotels in existence, for total convenience, more
hotels should be constructed and the past few years have seen a lot of rising structures in the
Dubai Emirate. What this indicates is the creation of Jobs. For an estimated additional 50,000
rooms to accommodate the visitors, over 100,000 new jobs are being created in the hospitality
industry to be bagged by tourists and residents in the country. Presently, there are more than 99
hotels currently under construction in the UAE.
What’s more, according to Arabia Monitor, the Dubai Economy will receive over US$60 billion
worth of purchases and many of these will be food. Hence, more investors are setting up retail
and restaurant business and franchises.
Real Estate and Construction Industry
Although the construction industry relies on confidence and optimism, with the coming Expo
2020 in Dubai, the industry has seen a rise in demand, due to the number of properties that must
be available to cater for Expo visitors and the residents it births. Currently, the government has
awarded contracts up to a tune of 12AED billion for infrastructures and construction alone.
Again, the construction company is one which has recently caught the eye of many investors as
Dubai is known for its world class structures.
Furthermore, from now till 2020, the right plan (such as incentive offering, lower service charge
and guaranteed periods of rental income) is being put in place to encourage potential buyers, says
Simon Townsend’s (the senior director and head of strategic advisory and consulting of
Aviation and Transport
Due to the expected visitors, the UAE government apportioned a sum of (US$7.8bn
[Dhs28.6bn]) for the expansion of the Dubai International Airport, a sum which may be
increased depending on statistics received as 2020 approaches. For ease of transportation, the
Dubai’s Road and Transports Authority (RTA) also recently announced an investment of
US$1.36 billion for the expansion of Dubai Metro’s Red Line to connect to the Dubai World
Central (the main location of the event). Likewise, Emaar Properties equally signed a
Memorandum of Understanding with the Expo Site-DWC to develop a one of its kind (13.63
million sqm.) golf-centered residential estate adjacent to the area surrounding the site. With all
these in place, the sky is the limit come 2020.
Financial Services industry
The banking sector in Dubai is well prepared and positioned for the anticipated visit and
currently supports the UAE economy well. Additionally, the Central Bank of the UAE have put
more flexible regulations in place to support the economic stability of investors who, in the wake
of the coming event are already tapping into the various opportunities presented. An example is
the mortgage cap and the combat on large financial exposure which was introduced to combat all
forms of excessive spend. Also, the simple fact that the UAE was able to weather the past global
crisis coupled with the coming Expo has encouraged more European and U.S banks to set-up
branches in the UAE.
The creation of long-term residency visas by the UAE government is another drive towards
establishing an ease for tourists interested in becoming residents in the country before and after
the Expo. The news is already impacting the UAE residential market and more professionals and
entrepreneurs are enquiring about the possibility of getting a long-term visa for their intended
service area. The new rule is sure to increase sale volumes; likewise, the initiative to issue
extendable retiree visas will further open the UAE market to more investors.
The enormous turnaround in the various industries has created opportunities for more job, and
the Expo event portal is said to be receiving thousands of applications from far and near already.
Some Dubai authorities estimate that the Expo 2020 will create between 300,000 to 500,000 new
jobs in the various industries, most of which will be in the hospitality, restaurant, construction
and Real Estate industry. In like manner, a forecast by Standard Chartered also postulates that 90
percent of the jobs relating to the Expo will come between 2018 and 2021 with many being
retained as permanent jobs.
In 2017, the authority of the Wills Service was affirmed by Dubai Law No. 15, issued by his
Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the
UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It is a resolution regulating inheritance Wills and probate for non-
Muslims. The law made it possible for non-Muslim asset owners in Dubai and Ras al-Khaimah
to protect their assets by registering their wills with the opportunity to be probated anywhere in
the world. This means that Assets owned in the region will be exempted from the dictates of
Sharia Law. So far, Dubai has seen more people own assets because of the provision of this law
and before Expo2020 and beyond, many more non-Muslims are set to acquire Assets with the
knowledge that their Assets are protected after their demise. Although the provision is restricted
to assets in only Dubai and Ras al Khaimah, it is hoped that all other emirates will be covered in
the coming years.
The Future (Now and Beyond)
Beyond tourism, after the Expo 2020, Dubai will be known for various other portfolios. The
trade sector, construction, financial and Real Estate industries will benefit greatly. There will be
a huge number of business opportunities springing from collaborations and networks between
great minds who visit the emirate.
Besides other economic benefits such as enhanced investments, job creation and increase in
Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Expo will have a high impact on UAE’s national identity,
community cohesion and civic pride – an uncommon advantage which is yet to be achieved my
many countries of the world.
Legal Advisory services
Due to the rise in investments seen since the Expo win, there is a consistent high demand on
adequate legal advisory services to avoid all form of business pitfalls. Since the Expo win, many
of the rules, regulations and laws put in place are those applicable to individuals and
entrepreneurs owning Small, Medium and Large enterprises. In this light, to guide against future
disputes, the wise and prudent business man should understand all legal regal requirements and carry out a comprehensive due diligence before committing to a transaction. To achieve this, a genuine legal professional view is required.
Moreover, in order to ensure that the Expo 2020 delivers the much awaited theme to connect
minds and create the future in a way that is soothing, it becomes expedient that every business
decision should come from a diligence expertise with the required advisory skills necessary to
build long-lasting relationships from these transactions. The Expo 2020 is almost certain to
cement Dubai’s status as one of the leading business hubs in the world.
In conclusion, it is widely believed that the Dubai Expo 2020 will open doors to many
opportunities, which is why every entrepreneur should be ready to tap into the new window that
the event will open.
We are located in the heart of Dubai and can be contacted for further advice on how to invest in
the ever growing economy of the United Arab Emirates.