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‘Dubai embodies the essence and ethos of a World Expo’

Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building

Steve Morgan, head of Cluttons UAE, comments on the UK backing Dubai’s bid

June 12, 2013 9:00 by



Last month, in a lengthy written statement, William Hague, the British foreign secretary officially announced that – despite both recognising and appreciating the strengths of other contending nations – the UK would officially support the United Arab Emirates in its attempt to become the host nation for Expo 2020.

He said that Dubai’s bid is exceptionally strong; focused on global connectivity and accessibility, underpinned by its geographical location and its position as a global logistics and transport hub.

“In the last 50 years, Dubai has undergone a remarkable transformation from a small trading, fishing and pearling town to one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities and a global centre for transport, tourism and trade,” writes Hague.

Steve Morgan, head of real estate specialist, Cluttons UAE, says that with the UK’s backing, he confidently expects a rise in cross border investment activity from ‘Dubai’s second-largest source of FDI’ and a possible revival of several of the emirate’s construction developments.

“Dubai already embodies the essence and ethos of a World Expo,” he says. “A successful bid is likely to see the acceleration and rejuvenation of several more of Dubai’s iconic real estate projects that are already starting to make a gradual comeback; some may even be accelerated to coincide with the proposed January 2020 kick-off date for the Dubai World Expo.”

Steve Morgan’s full statement below*

Dubai’s inward FDI during 2012 recorded a 26.5% increase to AED 29.4 billion according to the latest figures released by Dubai FDI, fuelled primarily by the emirate’s economic turnaround, tourism sector buoyancy and real estate sector revival.  William Hague’s announcement in Westminster today of Britain’s official backing of Dubai’s 2020 World Expo bid comes in the wake of Boris Johnson’s recent visit to the UAE where he expressed his support for Dubai Expo 2020. With the UK’s backing, we are confident that we will see a rise in cross border investment activity from Dubai’s second largest FDI source that is likely to boost Dubai’s current share of global FDI (1.6%) further, giving Dubai a greater slice of the prized $1.4 trillion global FDI pie.

Dubai already embodies the essence and ethos of a World Expo. A successful bid is likely to see the acceleration and rejuvenation of several more of Dubai’s iconic real estate projects that are already starting to make a gradual comeback; some may even be accelerated to coincide with the proposed January 2020 kick off date for the Dubai World Expo. With the world’s largest mall, The Mall of the World, set to anchor Mohammed Bin Rashid City and suggestions that the next world’s tallest building could also rise in Dubai, we expect a Dubai win in November to bring with it a flurry of fresh economic and construction activity.

The overall levels of rising investor confidence are being further enhanced by government backed schemes that play into the hands of Dubai’s key pillars of strength; trade and tourism. The increased economic activity is translating into rising levels of employment activity and demand for housing. Over the past six-months alone, our research has shown that house prices have risen by between 14.6% and 20.2%, suggesting that Dubai is very likely to end the year amongst the world’s top performing residential markets.

Dubai’s existing world class transportation infrastructure and reputation for staging international events already puts it well ahead of the other bidding cities, but with the full backing of the UAE, we are confident that Dubai will pull out all the stops to ensure that the 2020 Expo is an unforgettable global extravaganza that will help showcase what the UAE has achieved in the run up to the nation’s 50th anniversary in 2021.



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