Delegates from nearly 170 countries are meeting in Paris this week to choose the host of the 2020 World Expo.
The competition is between front-runner Dubai, UAE, and Ekaterinburg, Russia; Sao Paulo, Brazil and Izmir, Turkey.
All indications are that the Bureau International des Expositions will overwhelmingly choose Dubai on Nov. 27.
There are many reasons for that, primarily no other city competing for the world’s fair can match what Dubai offers – it has ultra-modern infrastructure, solid financial backing and above all an impeccable track record of hosting mega events.
The Dubai Airshow that concluded just last week is just an example. It generated a record US$206 billion in business for Boeing, Airbus and others.
Dubai has also won the endorsements of several countries, including Britain, France and Canada.
“Canada believes it is time for the Middle East to host the world at a time of such hope and challenge in the region, and Dubai is best placed to bring together the most diverse group of peoples from around the world, to share ideas, aspirations, and concrete solutions for the future,” Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement earlier this month.
“Canada’s support for Dubai reflects our commitment to the dynamism, hope and future of emerging economies in the region and beyond.”
Former U.S. president Bill Clinton, a frequent visitor to Dubai, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates also have endorsed Dubai’s bid.
“Dubai’s model of shared prosperity is more important today than ever and an inspiration to many countries in the Middle East,” Clinton told students of the American University of Dubai in April.
Dubai under its charismatic Ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has made dramatic progress in the past few years.
The emirate has delivered everything it ever promised. Expo 2020 will be no different. It would be another jewel in Dubai’s crown.
But win or lose, Dubai has made its case.
“The UAE will be successful whether it wins the bid or not, as we are working and moving forward with various development plans,” Sheikh Mohammed was quoted as saying this month.
All photos are courtesy of Dubai Expo 2020 and Dubai Government. The video, “Then and Now,” is from YouTube.