Dubai Expo 2020 Insight Cover - Image of Metro Line and Buildings
Dubai Expo 2020 Insight Cover - Image of Metro Line and Buildings

An expo is a world fair, where countries from all over the globe come together to showcase or share their innovations and ideas. The first World Expo, titled Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, was held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London in 1851. It is considered the first exhibition of manufactured products on a global scale, and it laid the foundation for all the World Expos held in the following years. Most of these expositions run between six weeks and six months, and owing to their very grand scale, they tend to be expensive.

Unlike other global events, the expos weren’t always held after a fixed interval of time, but since 1995, the interval between them has been at least five years. The most recent World Expo, 2015, was held in Milan, Italy, and in November 2013, Dubai was awarded the right to host the event in 2020. The Dubai Expo 2020 will be held in Dubai South District, near Al Maktoum International Airport. Dubai is the first city in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia to host the world event.

How can the World Expo Affect your F&B Business and How to Benefit from It

The benefits of such a large scale event on the hospitality industry of the host country cannot be understated. Estimates put the expected number of visitors at 25 million for the entire six-month duration. Around 70% of them will be international tourists. The Emirates already boasts a very innovative F&B scene, and the Dubai Expo 2020 turns it a notch higher. This influx of tourists presents an attractive opportunity for F&B establishments.

With over 200 F&B outlets and 30,000sqm of front house space that will be featured in the exhibition, the hospitality industry will play a big part in the expo. Over 50 cuisines from the UAE, the broader Arab world and other international varieties will be served, culminating in over 300,000 meals prepared per day. Over 190 countries are participating in the event, presenting opportunities for growth that local restaurants have to utilise.

Food Supply and Demand

The increased number of people presented the first challenge. Plans have to be made to ensure housing and food will be adequately provided. The site will be flooded with thousands of people daily, and as a result, at least a third of the restaurateurs have plans to establish an outlet at on-site or even in the surrounding areas to take advantage of the increased market. International tourists will be especially eager to sample Arabian cuisines, and serving a variety of such on different days will attract even more customers.

As the Dubai Expo 2020 approaches, the city has experienced an increase in the construction of hotels, both high and mid-range. Hotel rooms over 27,000 had been constructed by 2018, and by the end of 2019, they will number 91,000. Almost 200 new hotels have also been approved for construction.

Higher Profits

According to Alpen Forecasts, hotel occupancies are expected to increase from 62 % in 2017 to 68% in 2022. This influx will translate to increased food budgets for hotels. Establishments that supply food and beverages to hotels will enjoy higher profits from increased sales. Restaurants and chains that set up outlets in hotels will also be expected to benefit from the increased traffic.

70% of the 25 million expected visitors will be international visitors. Dubai is already well-known as a tourist spot, and with this expo, the UAE will be looking to set itself up as a premier tourist destination. The hospitality sector plays a big part in this. With over 30,000sqm of front house space, food and beverage establishments have been given centre stage to showcase the culinary delights that the Dubai Expo 2020 will offer. It provides an opportunity for expansion like never seen before. Restaurateurs have the chance to interact with investors and backers from all over the globe. Representatives from over 190 countries, multinational organisations and businesses will participate in the event. A restaurant owner or manager could spend the six month run time interacting with investors and building international connections that could come in handy later.

More Hospitality Jobs

It is estimated that a potential 300,000 jobs could be created from the Dubai Expo 2020. Apart from the tourists, a large number of people will be drawn to the city to fill these positions. As food and beverage establishments expand to cater to the increased market, they will tap into the large pool of employment seeking people. Chances are the supply of labour will outweigh the demand, and restaurant managers will be able to pay lower wages. This, coupled with the increased traffic, especially for establishments that offer a sit-down dining experience, will translate to higher profit margins.

Looking Positive for Dubai Expo 2020 Hospitality

The effects of the expo are expected to be felt long after its run time. Major infrastructural advancements have been made in the build-up towards it. Construction is at an all-time high. Dubai International Airport has been upgrading its runways to cater to the increased number of tourists. A metro station that can handle 44,000 passengers per hour has also been built. The economy is bound to improve, and this will create favourable conditions for businesses especially in the tourism and hospitality industry. There will be more disposable income, ingredients will be less costly, and transportation will be cheaper.

Events of such a large scale always improve the economy of the host. The Dubai Expo 2020 will be no different. The hospitality industry expects up to Dh2 billion from the sale of food and beverages during the event. An estimated 25 million tourists from over 190 countries are expected to grace the expo. The tourism and hospitality industry will enjoy significant growth during the six months. The gains restaurant managers can expect are immense.

As a hospitality, consulting, and management company in the region, Glee Hospitality offers management solutions to businesses in the industry. With an accumulated experience of over 50 years, we will be your ultimate guide as you seek to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. Contact us today to learn more about how your business can profit from the event.