Gulf Council confirms Expo 2020 first as interest in Dubai heats up
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf – formerly known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – has revealed it will host its own pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, marking the first time it has done so at a World Expo.
H.E. Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, the Council’s Secretary-General, recently signed an official participation contract with H.E. Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau.
The council, will have its own pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, as well as the individual national pavilions of the member states. It is the first multinational organisation to sign up to Expo 2020.
Commenting on the agreement, H.E. Dr Abdullatif said: “Our nations are rightly proud of what they have achieved individually but they are equally proud of the remarkable milestones we have witnessed together, such as the creation of the Gulf Common Market, through our special bond, common qualities and shared vision.
“Our decision to take part in Expo 2020 Dubai reflects these historical, social, economic and cultural ties, which will only be strengthened by this extraordinary experience.”
The Council was formed in 1981, when the leaders of the member states met in Abu Dhabi and agreed a cooperative framework for coordination. Today, more than 51 million people live in the GCC.
The strength of the council is reflected in the trade between member states. Saudi Arabia is the UAE’s number one trade partner, with total trade worth AED71.6 billion last year, followed by Oman at AED31.9 billion, Kuwait at AED25.8 billion and Bahrain at AED16 billion.
Gulf citizens also represent the largest demographic of property investors in the UAE and particularly Dubai.
A recent survey conducted by Yougov and Cityscape Global found that Dubai was the most popular destination worldwide among GCC property investors.
Sixty-nine percent of Gulf residents surveyed for the report ranked Dubai first for property investment, while 66% expected Expo 2020 to further enhance the city’s reputation as the region’s top real estate market.