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Dubai chamber chief says Expo job potential underestimated

expoThe head of Dubai’s Chamber of Commerce strongly disagrees with the estimate of how many jobs the city’s 2020 Expo win will bring to the emirate – he thinks it will be way more.

Analysts have calculated that Dubai’s world fair triumph will create 277,000 jobs, about 14 per cent of the current population of Dubai.

But not only does Hamad Buamim reckon the figure is feasible, he believes Dubai is in for a far bigger jobs boost.

“If I look at the number of jobs I still think it is very, very conservative,” insisted the Dubai Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. There are currently more than 600 hotels in Dubai, while the emirate has a plan to attract 20 million tourists annually by 2020.

It’s also estimated that the six-month Expo alone will attract 25 million people. And Buamim said: “To be able to host the millions that are expected you need to grow the number of hotels maybe by 50 to 100 per cent. Hospitality itself and tourism will open a lot of opportunities.

“And growth will start to attract more and more people,” he added – pointing to financial services and trade as two sectors that would benefit.

Buamim was speaking at an event yesterday to launch the findings of the Oxford Business Group’s publication ‘The Report: Dubai 2014’, which examines the new investment opportunities the Expo win is set to produce.

Asked how Dubai will actually pay for what is required for the Expo in 2020, Buamim replied: “We have learned a lot from the past.

“We’ve got better financing – financing for the long run rather than short term.”-7 Days