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Desert city Dubai makes bid to host Expo 2020

Dubai has launched a formal bid to host the 2020 World Expo to rival the Shanghai Expo in both scale and technology, a senior Dubai official for the bid said in Shanghai today.

"If our bid is successful, the city of the United Arab Emirates will learn from the Shanghai Expo organizers on how to handle the large number of visitors and how to use Expo structures after the event," said Nasser H. Saidi, chief economist of Dubai International Financial Center.

Dubai will compete with four other cities for the event. Sao Paulo of Brazil, Ayutthaya of Thailand, Ekaterinburg of Russia and Izmir of Turkey are all keen to host the Expo. A decision will be made next year by the International Exposition Bureau, the governing body of the World Expo.

The theme of the Dubai Expo will be "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future," which will concentrate on renewable energies, sustainable use of natural resources, climate changes and human imagination and creativity, said Saidi.

Dubai is expected to attract about 70 million visitors to its Expo, the same number as handled by Shanghai Expo. Some iconic structures like China Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo will be presented there, he said.

Expo 2020 will be held at Dubai Trade Center, known as Jebel Ali, which is a new, purpose-built, 400-hectare site on the southwestern edge of Dubai.

"Dubai Expo will be unique as visitors can view the desert and the sea and many innovative structures," Saidi said.

Dubai plans to spend US$2 billion to US$4 billion to develop infrastructure for the World Expo, according to media reports.


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