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‘70 per cent of residents believe Dubai will win World Expo 2020’


People more likely to invest, open businesses and encourage family and friends to move to the UAE.

November 17, 2013 4:34 by

Dubai competing against three other cities to host the World Expo 2020 has been a rather prominent and arguably unavoidable subject these past few months – one that continues to be on everybody’s mind and lips.

Multinational companies, SMEs and even countries (including Canada, France and Britain) have continued to emerge as strong supporters of the emirate’s bid, singing its praises and presenting arguments on why Dubai deserves to emerge victorious.

With only ten days left until a final decision is made about which competing city – Dubai (UAE), Ekaterinburg (Russia), Izmir (Turkey) or Sao Paulo (Brazil) – will win the rights to host the major event, a new survey reveals that UAE residents are equally optimistic about the emirate’s chances of winning and the aftermath that will follow.

A study by research firm YouGov, which surveyed more than 1,000 residents in the country, reveals that of the 85 per cent that are actually aware of the World Expo, 88 per cent believe that Dubai will win the bid. Only two per cent of the poll’s respondents voted for Izmir, while Ekaterinburg and Sao Paulo earned the votes of just one per cent of residents.

It comes as no surprise that Dubai’s marketing and public relations machine is a powerful one. In fact, before its bid to host the World Expo 2020, 59 per cent of respondents were not even aware of the global event, with 60 per cent saying that they have no idea which city last hosted it.

With so much written and said about the potential ripple effects that winning the Expo 2020 will have on the local and regional economy, 75 per cent believe the main benefit will be a boost in tourism. The majority (63 per cent) believe that there will be more job vacancies, while others have said that media exposure (52 per cent), infrastructure expansion (48 per cent) and development of real estate projects (46 per cent) will be some of the other main after effects.

However, aside from noting the many macro-economic benefits to the wider economy, many residents are also looking forward to some of its possible positive effects in their own lives. For instance, if Dubai does win the right to host the Expo 2020, 72 per cent believe that they will witness an increase in their salary, 56 per cent say that they’re likely to change jobs and 57 per cent say that they’re more likely to start their own business here.

However, despite the fact that the majority of residents have predicted a positive impact (if Dubai wins) on airports (91 per cent), Dubai Metro (88 per cent), road transport (81 per cent) and economic growth of the UAE (86 per cent), the majority (63 per cent) says that they’d be less likely to purchase a property in Dubai.

The UAE Central Bank has recently announced mortgage caps in the country, restricting the amount of cash that expat homebuyers can borrow to 75 per cent of a property’s value for a first investment of under AED5 million.

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