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Top ten Expo 2020 project value in Dubai exceeds US$32.7 bn, BNC report shows

The total value of the top 10 active projects linked to Expo 2020 has exceeded US$32.7 billion (Dh120 billion) as of March 31, 2018, according to BNC Network, the largest project intelligence provider in the MENA region.

There are various high value projects across different sectors that are being developed in the UAE which will impact or contribute to the success of Expo 2020, however as per BNC Construction Intelligence Report, the estimated value of major projects having an impact and can be classified as major Expo-related construction activities is US$42.5 billion (Dh156 billion) in Dubai.

Among these, US$17.4 billion are spent on major infrastructure and transport projects, while US$13.2 billion are spent in major housing (commercial and residential properties) and US$11 billion spent on major hospitality projects, such as hotels, destination and theme parks.

The report comes barely two and a half years before the historic World Expo 2020 kicks off in October 2020 – by when Dubai’s urban fabric and skyline will expand significantly. The city’s skyline is currently dominated by skyscrapers and tower cranes on construction sites where contractors are racing against time to complete these projects ahead of schedule.

Among these projects, expansion of Al Maktoum International Airport’s Phase I tops the list with US$8 billion (Dh29.36 billion). Al Maktoum International is part of an aerotropolis – airport city – that covers a landmass of 140 square kilometres or ten times the size of Dubai International Airport that has an updated design capacity to handle more than 100 million passengers per annum. Al Maktoum International, the world’s largest green field airport with a design capacity to handle 160 million passengers per annum.

This is followed by the Villages at Dubai South township – with a value of US$6.8 billion (Dh25 billion). This is a sustainable green residential cluster.

Dubai Exhibition City, a US$6.6 billion project will create a new hub for business exhibitions and trade fairs and help Dubai attract more business visitors that will keep the hotels busy. One of the key projects that is currently being developed is the Dubai Metro Red Line extension to Al Maktoum International Airport, worth US$2.9 billion.

As many as nine out of the top 10 Expo-linked projects are located at Dubai South or directly connected to the mega city.

“Mega global events such as World Expos offer greater economic opportunity for all stakeholders and for the host city that benefits from a large pool of investment into projects – infrastructure, housing, tourism, etc and Dubai is currently undergoing that phase,” Avin Gidwani, Chief Executive Officer of BNC Network, says. “Attractions such as Dubai Parks and Resorts, IMG World among others have already been added to the growing number of attractions to Dubai to retain tourists for longer period and will help the tourism industry to thrive.

“As evident from the hectic construction activities, Expo 2020 projects have kept Dubai’s construction sector busy which have a knock-on positive impact on the overall economy. This in turn will help the economy and the consumption stable. The number of construction cranes and the workers has gone up significantly within Dubai South – where the Expo 2020 village will be located.

“Once completed, Dubai South and Dubai as a whole, will become another integrated, sustainable city that will have the Al Maktoum International Airport as its centre-piece,” Gidwani says.