Expo 2020

Travel industry gearing up for Expo 2020

ATM Global Stage Dubai opens with the most-awaited Expo 2020 legacy debate with some key personalities. Expo 2020, between October 2020 and April 2021, will bring together more than 180 nations and is expected to host an international audience of 25 million visitors. Experts from the trade share their views with TravTalk.



“Each day, hundreds of thousands of people will be entertained by spectacular architecture, experience global cultures and thought provoking exhibitions and taste foods from every corner of the globe. Above all, visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai will witness the very latest in thinking and technology all in one place and at one time, leaving them with an unforgettable, once-in-alifetime experience.”

-Marjan Faraidooni, Senior Vice President of Legacy Impact and Development, Expo2020 Dubai


“Dubai has been actively preparing to host Expo 2020, which will strengthen its position as a top global business and tourism hub. The emirate has been offering new attractions, enhancing its infrastructure and boosting job and business opportunities to lure both visitors and investors leading to the event. The hospitality industry expects to benefit significantly from these developments, as affirmed by the emirate’s growing room inventory. Strategically located at the heart of the city, Ramada Downtown Dubai is enthused to host the delegates of Expo 2020 and showcase the best of what Dubai has to offer to the international diaspora.”

-Shahzad Butt, General Manager, Ramada Downtown Dubai


“Dubai is one of the world’s key points of connection and is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most globalised cities. It is home to many nationalities, the world’s busiest airport by international passengers served, and the world’s largest man-made harbor. The city has developed numerous hotels significantly over the last 40 years. The city is a thriving center for business with 70 per cent of Fortune 500 companies having their regional base in Dubai and it regularly tops the World Bank’s annual report for Ease of Doing Business in the Arab world. The city is a magnet for international visitors, aiming to attract more than 20 million travellers during Expo 2020.”

-Muhammad Haider, Hotel Manager, Ibis Styles Jumeira


“Dubai is all geared up to welcome the delegates of Expo 2020, which will further strengthen the emirate’s status as a major player in global tourism. Developers are adding around 10,000 hotel rooms and serviced apartments per year to accommodate the visitor traffic during the event. Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham JBR is now looking into various opportunities to capitalise on our location’s proximity to the venue. The property is intensifying its efforts to enhance its services and facilities over the next two years to be more competitive and increase our market share, leading to the event.”

-Samer Rafie, Hotel Manager, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham JBR


“With 2020 expected to attract 25 million visitors, our renovation comes at a very prolific time. We’re in the process of renovating our lobby area which will be complete by end of this year and we’re then rolling out phase two which will see a number of rooms renovated within the property. Over the next three years we will be investing heavily in our team to ensure they’re providing our guests with the best services possible.”

-Shaun Parsons Complex General Manager, Le Meridien Dubai Hotel + Conference Centre and Le Meridien Fairway


Our current portfolio in the region includes 50 operational hotels, representing approximately 8,700 rooms. We have another 24 hotels under development, representing a further 5,234 rooms – and our bold target for the MEA region by 2020 is 70 operational hotels.

-Ignace Bauwens, Regional Vice President for Middle East and Africa, Wyndham Hotel Group


“As the number of travellers visiting the Emirate from across the globe is expected to increase during 2020, we are looking forward to welcoming guests with different travel needs to both Ramada Plaza Jumeirah Beach and Ramada Hotel & Suites Sharjah. Ramada Hotel & Suites Sharjah’s recent renovation which has seen the addition of diverse meeting space that feature convenient access to the new Executive Lounge as well as the enhanced dining options, make it is a great choice for business travellers, while the broad accommodation offering and prime location of Ramada Plaza Jumeirah Beach will make it a popular choice for both leisure and business guests.”

-Alper Can Bulcum, Cluster General Manager, Ramada Hotel and Suites Sharjah and Ramada JBR


As the first-ever World Expo to be held in the MENASA (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia) region, Dubai Expo 2020 will undoubtedly have an impact that ranges beyond Dubai and even the UAE. It only takes a quick exploration of the impact of an expected additional 20-25 million international visitors over a six-month period to see that substantial investment in hospitality and retail infrastructure will be required, expected to be particularly in the vicinities of Dubai World Central, to cater for an estimated additional 70 million room-nights and a boost of over $10 billion in consumer spending. We definitely should expect a significant boost in the 4 percent predicted growth rates in the economy (Shanghai achieved 13 percent GDP).

-Slim Zaiane, General Manager, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates

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