Dubai has won the right to host the 2020 World Expo, a six month event, forecast to create tens of thousands of jobs and deliver billions in new investments and economic return.
Dubai, the commercial and transportation nucleus of the Middle East, celebrated the victory with an exuberant fireworks display atop the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
The United Arab Emirates beat out competitors Brazil, Turkey and Russia to secure the majority of votes by member states of the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) in a round-robin style decider.
Dubai is expected to spend almost US$8.1 billion on infrastructure projects ahead of the World Expo.
“Dubai #Expo2020 will breathe new life into the ancient role of the Middle East as a melting pot for cultures and creativity,” Dubai prime minister and vice president UAE Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed al-Maktoum tweeted.
The World Expo is the third largest global non-commercial event, following the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup.
In related news, Dubai’s hotel industry reported a busy first nine months of the year, welcoming over 7.9 million visitors between January and September 2013, a 9.8 percent year-on-year increase.