Dubai could benefit from a windfall of $23bn if it is successful in its bid to host World Expo 2020, according to a new report.
Research from Bank of America Merrill Lynch found that if the emirate is in November awarded the rights to host the event, authorities can expect its impact to contribute to 24.4% of GDP spread over the period 2015 to 2021.
This would include total spending by the host, participants and visitors, as well as on supply chain and consumption. The $23bn would equate to 3.5% of annual GDP, with the bulk materialising around the event itself.
“A successful 2020 Expo bid on November 27 should provide a modest lift to GDP growth, leading up to the period and a more material one around the event itself, in our view,” the report said.
Dubai is currently ranked among the favourites to host the six month-long event, with other candidate cities including Yekaterinburg in Russia, Izmir in Turkey and Sao Paulo in Brazil. Thailand’s Ayutthaya was disqualified in June.
The Bank of America Merrill Lynch report put the total cost of financing the Expo at $8.4bn, or 8.9% of GDP.
The event would also create more than 277,000 jobs in the Gulf emirate, 40% of which would be in the hospitality sector and 30 percent in construction.
Dubai anticipates that more than 25m would visit the event over six months, including 70% from outside the UAE.