Expo move should coincide with real estate revival
The postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai will allow the construction sector to complete projects and should coincide with a strong rebound in the real estate sector once the Covid-19 pandemic is contained, says property consultant Savills.
On 21 April, the executive committee of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organisation supervising World Expos, agreed to propose the postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai to 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.
The Expo positivity should also coincide with a strong rebound in transactional activity once the pandemic is contained and Dubai should generally be better prepared and equipped to host an optimal event from October 2021”
Murray Strang, head of the Dubai office at Savills
Changing the date now requires the support of a two-thirds majority of member states of the BIE, as per article 28 of the Paris Convention of 1928. Voting will be carried out remotely between Friday 24 April and Friday 29 May.
“It is quite unfortunate the Expo is now likely to be postponed at a point in time where momentum was clearly gathering; however, this will provide an opportunity for the Covid-19 affected construction sector to complete pipeline projects prior to the re-scheduled Expo launch,” says Murray Strang, head of the Dubai office at Savills.
“The Expo positivity should also coincide with a strong rebound in transactional activity once the pandemic is contained and Dubai should generally be better prepared and equipped to host an optimal event from October 2021.”
The Expo has been a key driver for Dubai’s real estate sector ever since it secured the rights to host the event in late 2013.
“There is no doubt that Expo 2020 has been one of the key factors driving growth of real estate and the non-oil economy in the UAE since its award to Dubai in November 2013,” says Strang.
“The immediate effect was clear with residential transactions in the city suddenly increasing by more than 110 per cent month-on-month in December 2013. While there have been challenges, particularly in balancing appropriate supply, the market sentiment has remained largely positive since then with 2019 demonstrating almost 25 per cent year-on-year growth in overall residential transaction.”