EXPO 2020 In Dubai Concludes On A Positive Note 

EXPO 2020 in Dubai Concludes on a Positive Note 

Dubai – EXPO 2020 which lasted for six month concluded on March 31st 2021. It was the first world expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and the first to be hosted by an Arab nation. Over the course of the six months, Dubai has seen an increase in visitors, which was estimated to be 24 million. This was an increase by 12.7% compared to the previous year. The efforts by the government in supporting the mega-event has further strengthened Dubai’s reputation as a city to do business.

In total, Dubai Chamber of Commerce organized 98 events during EXPO 2020 Dubai, which were attended by more than 25,000 participants from over 130 countries. Dubai Chamber of Commerce facilitated 1,500 bilateral business meetings between UAE investors and their global counterparts, and received 1,746 visiting delegations from over 60 countries during the event, which were joined by 3,350 government and business leaders.

EXPO 2020 Impact on Dubai Economy

During the EXPO 2020, the arrivals at Dubai International Airport recorded growth of 12.7% in 2021 reaching 24 million visitors compared to 2020, while the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade increased by 27% when compared to 2020. The non-oil trade growth for the year 2019 was around 11%, signifying that the Expo 2020 Dubai was the primary contributor to the growth.

According to a Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry survey among local businesses, over 76% companies witnessed business growth during EXPO 2020 while 73% entered into new partnerships during the flagship event. Furthermore, 70.6% of respondents leveraged the networking and business matching services provided by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry during the event while 47% of respondents benefitted from the Global Business Forums series and bilateral business meetings arranged at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The report published by the Dubai’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry highlighted the role of the Expo 2020 event in catalyzing business growth in the tourism, hospitality and many key sectors of Dubai economy. It also revealed that revenue per available room in Dubai in January 2022 increased to AED 460 (USD 125) compared to AED 293 (USD 80) in January 2021, marking an increase of 56.3% and outperforming Milan, the host city for Expo 2015, which recorded of 54.5% in 2015.

Investment Opportunities in Dubai

Industry experts who participated in the EXPO 2020 event suggested that the sectors such as Tourism, Trade, Transport, Travel, and Financial Services, as well as the Digital Economy, will be the key engines of growth in the future in Dubai and UAE. They also believed that Dubai’s investments in innovation and technology will drive sustainable economic growth long after Expo 2020, as the success of the mega event cemented Dubai’s position as a global business and innovation hub. 

The cascading effect of the growth in these industries will also see increased investor confidence and investments in other sectors including Food & Beverage (F&B), Real Estate & Construction, Healthcare, Renewable Energy, e-Commerce, and Service Innovation. 


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Author: Waqas Siddiqui
As a research consultant, I am passionate about supporting businesses in successfully expanding in the UAE and Gulf region. I can be reached at waqas@researchkonnection.com for research inquiries.