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KHALEEJ TIMES, Tuesday, Jun 12, 2018 | Ramadan 27, 1439

Expo 2020 to boost logistics sector

Emirates: The World Expo 2020 Dubai will boost the logistics industry in the UAE as billions of dollars are being invested in infrastructure and logistics services in preparation for the mega event, according to industry experts.

The budget of the Expo 2020 site is estimated at more than $8 billion. The Expo site will be served by a world-class road network, a brand-new extension to the Dubai metro system, and three international airports.

"I believe mobility is one of the key pillars of Expo 2020. The mega expo is a window of opportunity that will connect people, goods and ideas in addition to providing easy access to markets, knowledge and innovation," said Shailesh Dash, chairman of Dubai-based Gulf Pinnacle Logistics. The UAE pavilion will cost approximately Dh353 million. The 15,000 square metres project will include exhibition areas, an auditorium, food and beverage outlets and VIP lounges. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and inspired by a falcon in flight, the UAE pavilion will be built to embrace sustainable building principles.

The global Expo aims to bring together over 180 countries and millions of people to celebrate human ingenuity: "Connecting Minds; Creating the Future." The Dubai government estimate suggests around 25 million people are expected to visit the Expo between its opening day on October 20, 2020 and its close on April 10, 2021.

"The logistics industry in the UAE is at a very interesting turning point due to Expo 2020 and the economic transformation momentum within Gulf economies as well as for further economic integration and cooperation in the regional bloc," said Dash.

The UAE is home to one of the world's busiest airports, Dubai International Airport, and the largest container port outside the Far East, namely, the port of Jebel Ali.

Rodney Viegas, general manager of Dubai-based Abdul Mohsen Shipping, said the logistics industry witnessed positive trends during the past 18 months across the world as many regions recovered from the economic slowdown of the past few years. "Recovery in oil prices which recently crossed $80 a barrel, is a key driver for economic growth."

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