Thousands of new employment opportunities would be created in the UAE if Dubai's bid to host the World Expo in 2020 is successful.A new study by Oxford Economics showed that more than 277,000 jobs could be made if the high-profile event is staged in the Middle East.Dubai is accustomed to holding important exhibitions and conferences and the city's leaders are confident they have a strong chance of landing the Expo, although the emirate will face stiff competition from Ayutthaya in Thailand, Brazil's Sao Paulo, Izmir in Turkey and Yekaterinburg in Russia.The gathering is predicted to attract 25 million people from all over the world, so plenty of preparation will be required if it is to go off without a hitch. Some 90 per cent of the jobs would be created between 2018 and 2021, with the majority being based in the tourism sector.Importantly, the exhibition will have a positive effect on the wider Gulf region. The report suggested that for every Expo employee, a further 60 jobs would be made in the Middle East and North Africa region.Helal Saeed Al Marri, director general of Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and chief executive officer of the Dubai World Trade Centre, said tourism is a "vital pillar of Dubai's economy"."With the strength of Dubai's infrastructure, geographic location and global connectivity, Dubai Expo 2020 can expect to attract 25 million visitors during the six months between October 2020 and April 2021, 71 per cent of which would originate from outside the host nation for the first time in Expo history," he remarked.The World Expo is held every five years for a period of six months and it has been known to transform the fortunes of host cities.Shanghai staged the exhibition in 2010 and it helped to turn the heavily-industrialised city centre into a vibrant, cultural area. The event has never been held in the Middle East before, so a successful bid from Dubai really would be a landmark achievement.