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Expo 2020: The Decided Future

3 MIN READ

Things would have been very different in UAE if the global pandemic hadn’t become a reality. There were masterplan developments and residential projects of massive scale underway. All the major players in the market were setting up hotels and resorts for the expected guests. To clarify, almost 25 million people were expected to come in for the Expo 2020 this year. Since this is more than the 18 million people who visit Dubai every year, hosts were busy preparing. Expo 2020 was intended to symbolize, among other things, the global rise and international soft power of the UAE. However, along with everything else in the world, the Expo 2020 has been delayed as well.

Major Measures Taken:

The UAE has been one of the top responders to the global crisis. For instance, they had already taken major steps like halting the issue of new visas. However, it was impossible for even the UAE to escape economic upheaval. As one can expect, tourism and travel, hotel and leisure industries have completely shut down. Similarly, impacts on real estate have been somewhat influential as well. Already the prices of properties for sale in UAE are declining, bringing opportunities for some people and misfortunes for others. Analysts say, this is the perfect time for investment as the market of residential properties in Dubai has become more affordable than ever. However, landlords are pinning all their hopes on Expo 2020. Meanwhile, the country is making herculean efforts to curb the disease. It has extended the nationwide disinfection campaign as well since the health authorities reported 63 new cases of COVID-19 in the last week. As the disinfection program is prolonged, so are the timings of the curfew i.e. 8 PM to 6 AM. In spite of all these efforts, some other additional actions taken by the authorities are as under:

  •       Imposing curfew for deep cleaning till April 5
  •       Recommending the citizens to stay at home unless absolutely necessary
  •       Closing all malls, markets and non-essential stores except pharmacies and groceries
  •       Suspending all inbound and outbound flights
  •       Isolating the residents who may have been affected by the virus
  •       Closing of cinemas, parks and schools
  •       Restricting land borders

Expo 2020 Committee:

The organizers of Dubai Expo 2020 have had a virtual meeting. Discussing a number of options along with the option that a year-long postponement is necessary. The final decision has been made by member states of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the organization that awarded the event. After considering all the stakes involved in the situation, they decided to postpone the event for a year. They have been pondering upon the multiple alternatives available such as delaying the start date. However, they realized that it wouldn’t be worth the risk.

Tokyo Olympics had met the same fate. Now, there is continuous monitoring of the pandemic and reviewing of plans and preparations as per the guidance from U.A.E and international stakeholders.

Analyzing the Impacts on Real-Estate

Already, landlords have invested a huge amount of money in building hotels and facilities in expectations of increasing investment and tourism in the country. Given the UAE property situation in the Year 2020, the world Expo was all set to bring economic growth in the emirate. Moreover, a variety of options for apartments for rent in Dubai were available for the investors. Now, it’s clear to everyone that the event will now happen in October 2021. Until then, developers may choose to either delay or increase the number of projects.

The measures taken by the state to ensure safety may hamper the business but not real-estate in the emirate. The pandemic is proving beneficial for some investors, given the declining rate of the properties.

However, it is still unsure how well everything is going to be by the time we can all come out of quarantine and self-isolation.

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