Dubai splashes billions on mega projects ahead of Expo 2020

Dubai has the world’s busiest international airport. (AFP)
Updated 08 April 2018
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Dubai splashes billions on mega projects ahead of Expo 2020

Dubai: Dubai is splashing tens of billions of dollars on infrastructure and hospitality projects related to the international trade fair Expo 2020, Dubai-based BNC Network said in a report published Sunday.
The value of Expo-related projects under way hit $42.5 billion in March, according to the Construction Intelligence Report.
It said that $17.4 billion was invested in infrastructure and transport projects, $13.2 billion on housing and $11 billion for hotels and theme parks.
The projects include an $8 billion expansion of Al-Maktoum International Airport — located at the southern pole of the city and tipped to complement Dubai International Airport to the north.
Dubai airport was the world’s busiest for international travel in 2017, handling more than 88 million travelers.
Al-Maktoum, when complete, will have the capacity to handle 160 million travelers per year.
The emirate is spending $2.9 billion to develop a new metro line that will link its main transport hubs to the Expo site.
The new line will also link the $13.4 billion Dubai South Villages and Dubai Exhibition City, projects currently under way.
Authorities expect Expo 2020 to boost the real estate market and the hospitality sector, creating up to 300,000 new jobs and energising the economy.
The six-month event, the first World Expo to be staged in the Middle East, is expected to attract up to 300,000 visitors per day, half of them from abroad, when it opens in October 2020, according to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Dubai, a city state which has established itself as a regional business hub and tourism destination, has the Gulf’s most diversified economy that is not dependent on oil.
The economy of Dubai, where the population of three million people is comprised mainly of foreigners, is based on finance, property, tourism and leisure.
Over 21 percent of this year’s public spending of $15.5 billion is earmarked for infrastructure projects.


Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

Updated 26 June 2019
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Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

  • The MF has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy
  • ‘If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained’

MANAMA: IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Wednesday that major economic growth was possible in the Palestinian territories if all sides showed urgency, as she took part in a US-led conference boycotted by the Palestinian leadership.
The International Monetary Fund has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy, with tax revenue blocked in a dispute with Israel which has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade.
“If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained,” said Lagarde.
The IMF chief is attending a conference in Bahrain to discuss the economic aspects of a United States plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, which has already been rejected by the Palestinians as it fails to address key political issues.
Lagarde said for the US plan to work “it will require all the goodwill in the world on the part of all parties — private sector, public sector, international organizations and the parties on the ground and their neighbors.”
Citing examples of post-conflict countries, Lagarde said that private investors needed progress in several sectors including strengthening the central bank, better managing public finance and mobilizing domestic revenue.
“If anti-corruption is really one of the imperatives of the authorities — as it was in Rwanda, for instance — then things can really take off,” she said.
The plan presented by White House adviser Jared Kushner calls for $50 billion of investment in the Palestinian territories and its neighbors within a decade.
The proposals for infrastructure, tourism, education and more aim to create one million Palestinian jobs.
Gross domestic product in the Gaza Strip declined by eight percent last year, while there was only minor growth in the West Bank.
Kushner, opening the conference on Tuesday, called the plan the “Opportunity of the Century” — and said the Palestinians needed to accept it before a deal can be reached on political solutions.
The Palestinian Authority has rejected the conference, saying that the US and Israel are trying to dangle money to impose their ideas on a political settlement.
Washington says it will unveil the political aspects of its peace deal at a later date, most likely after Israel’s September election.