Source: The Gulf News
Dubai: The UAE’s reputation as a global aviation hub also received an immediate boost on Wednesday night following the announcement Dubai will host Expo 2020.
Expo 2020 is expected to draw 25 million visitors to Dubai with 70 per cent coming from overseas.
Dubai outmanoeuvered Izmir (Turkey), Yekaterinburg (Russia), and São Paulo (Brazil) to host the major international event. It will be the first time an event of this size is hosted in the Middle East.
Mohammad Qazi, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) International Airport Acting Chief Executive Officer, told Gulf News Dubai’s winning bid was great news for the UAE and for Ras Al Khaimah.
“It’s about connecting the minds and creating the future and the UAE is at the forefront of creating the future for the region … It will have obvious economic and cultural impact that we look forward to,” he said
Capacity at RAK Airport, which currently sits at 1.5 million passengers a year, could be increased in the coming years due to demand Expo 2020 will put on the country’s aviation sector.
Qazi said that RAK Airport was a complement to Dubai, which he said is the “major force driving aviation” in region.
“Dubai fuels the economic growth and economic energy of the emirates,” he said, adding that “Expo 2020 will enhance the economic growth of Ras Al Khaimah”.
UAE flagship airlines Emirates and Etihad Airways are well-positioned to fly Expo visitors in and out of the country in 2020.
But the other airlines, Sharjah’s Air Arabia and Dubai’s flydubai, are also strategically positioned in the regional low-cost and hybrid market to benefit from Expo 2020.
Adel Ali, Air Arabia Group Chief Executive, said in an e-mailed stated that as the gateway between East and West, the “well-deserved win” will encourage millions to travel to the UAE.
“Dubai winning the bid to stage the World Expo in 2020 further acknowledges the country’s standing as a global hub for trade, tourism, and commerce. This incredible achievement is also a natural step in the UAE’s next stage of economic development, aided by its vision, world-class infrastructure and thriving international business community,” he stated.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai, praised the UAE for its historic achievement in bringing Expo to Dubai.
“flyduabi would like to thank the leaders of our country, whose vision has made Dubai a city capable of hosting Expo 2020 and signifies an important step in the UAE’s development,” he said in an e-mailed statement.