Expo 2020: $3bn in construction in 2017?

Dubai’s World Expo 2020 plans to award 47 construction contracts valued at 11 billion dirhams ($3 billion) this year, providing an economic boost for the United Arab Emirates even as oil prices remain low, reports Bloomberg.

The contracts, which are open to both local and foreign companies, are part of the third and final infrastructure package for the event, Dubai Expo 2020 said in a statement on Monday. Another 98 non-construction orders worth as much as 360 million dirhams will be awarded.

Dubai’s economy is expected to expand 3.1 percent this year, following growth of 2.7 percent in real terms in 2016, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the emirate’s Economic Development Committee, told Bloomberg earlier this month. The global trade fair, which will be the first in the Middle East, is expected to accelerate growth in the city to more than 5 percent by 2020, according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund.

“We are committed to working with leading businesses from across the world in order to deliver an exceptional event of this scale, on time and on budget,” Reem Al Hashimy, U.A.E. minister of state for international cooperation and director general of the Dubai Expo 2020 bureau, said in the press release.

Dubai’s government is building an airport that will become the world’s largest close to the expo site and plans to move the headquarters of flagship carrier Emirates there by 2025. Organizers aim to complete the majority of construction a full year ahead of the event’s opening in October 2020.