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UAE residents are looking forward to the emirate's hosting of the World Expo 2020, according to a survey by strategic research company Insight Discovery. The survey revealed 95 per cent of respondents are interested in the Expo, with 88 per cent saying the event will impact their lives positively.
Moreover, 40 per cent strongly agree that they fully understand what the world event involves, while 58 per cent strongly agree that they would like to know more about the event.
''We believe that this survey is the first research of its kind to examine what UAE residents think about the Expo, how they relate to the event and its numerous implications," said Nigel Sillitoe, CEO of Insight Discovery.
"The survey confirms there is a huge interest in the event, but identifies a number of aspects that are of concern to the country's residents.
“The survey examines why Dubai Expo 2020 is unlike previous World Expos, and why it is a high-stake event for Dubai and the UAE."
The more than 1,000 respondents, which included businessmen and investors, were also asked to identify the sectors that would most likely benefit from Dubai's hosting of the Expo. Sectors that received favourable mention included advertising, media and communications, financial services, real estate, retail, telecoms and tourism and hospitality.
Around 73 per cent of respondents believe the UAE's financial services sector will cope easily with the opportunities, but that challenges may arise. A little more than half of respondents (57 per cent) think the impact of the event on local banks will be moderate, given that three quarters of the Expo's 25 million visitors will come from outside the UAE.
"We are very optimistic about the positive impetus for the UAE economy that Dubai Expo 2020 will bring before, during and after the actual event." said Peter Baltussen, CEO of Commercial Bank of Dubai, which supported the survey.
Jeff Singer, CEO of Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, another partner in the survey, said: “The Expo will undoubtedly have a positive impact as an economic catalyst that will create a long-term boost to local and regional economies in key business sectors such as finance, logistics and tourism."
In terms of employment, 57 per cent think the Expo will spur job creation and new business in the UAE. However, 91 per cent of respondents strongly believe the Expo will lead to a rise in the cost of living more than it would otherwise.
Meanwhile, Insight Discovery said the survey raised $5,000 (Dh18,365.25) for the Philippines' Typhoon Haiyan Fund, led by Islamic Relief.
"This was possible due to the joint pledge between Insight Discovery and our partner Grant Thornton to donate $5 on behalf of each of the first 1,000 respondents of our survey," said Sillitoe.
Source: Property Weekly