I personally don’t believe in any of the constant hyping of the Dubai Expo 2020, and neither should you. The economic boost, future prosperity and all the “expectations” of hundreds of thousands of jobs being created. It seems to be a series of publicity stunts and smart marketing that is more likely to end up in failure and the crippling of the country.
“An expo marks a certain ‘coming of age’ for a city”. Urso Chappelle, an expo historian. The world expo could potentially mean alot for the UAE’s economy and development. It’s probably the most important thing to ever happen to the UAE, and is probably the UAE’s last chance to get out of one of it’s worst economic slumps.
This expo is either going to make or break the UAE, and the Sheikhs are going all in to make it a success. However, hosting a world expo is not as easy as throwing money around. There is a long history of world expo failures along the years. It comes with many challenges, with the most important being compromise. How much is the UAE willing to compromise? And how deep is it willing to change it’s core to be able to successfully benefit from this event?
In the latest world expo (2015) that happened in Milan, although all the analysts and “expectations” were somewhat similar to that of the UAE, it ended with an overwhelming amount of controversy, with the citizens turning to the streets in massive riots and destroying shop stands and burning cars in protest to the event. The protestors complained that there were no such jobs created, and that the countries money has been uselessly spent, specially that many of the infrastructure projects that were started for the event never finished on time. The protestors also complained about the type of food being served for/by the millions of international visitors that was not allowed to be consumed in their culture, but had to be compromised on for the sake of the event’s success.
Recently the Emirati people have been heard complaining more than ever about their living conditions worsening. It is expected that almost $20 billion is going to be put into this event, that the UAE government is going to cover nearly half of. Is this greatly risky endevour, paid by loans and oil money that belongs to the Emirati people, really going to be worth it and beneficial to them?
Is the UAE government ready to accept and compromise in welcoming approximately 20 million visitors from outside the UAE to a country with only 1 million Emirati population? Are the Emirstis ready to accept the cultural invasion that is going to occur with their cities being flushed by foreigners 20 to 1, attacking every single core value in the book? I don’t think they will, and if they do, it would only be temporarily, and after using and fooling everyone they will be back to smashing their hammers of intolerance, racism and injustice.
What do you think the “year of tolerance” is about? Did you ever think, why now? Why 2019? Do you really think 2 million visitors are going to be excited about a country that controls what they can eat, drink, wear, believe in, say or do? Or a country that is famous for Human Rights violations, disapearings and unfair trials? What about their constantly changing business and property ownership laws, rising fees and sudden deportations and take overs? It’s not so easy to face the karma of years of horribly treating expats and then being faced with a situation where foreigners are your only saviour.
Even when the UAE was at it’s best politically and economically since the oil boom, they’ve never cared the least about so called “religious tolerance”, and I absolutely believe that the “Year of Tolerance” is no more than a publicity stunt to fix the country’ image and better prepare the UAE for the expo 2020 and attract visitors and long term investments. If they don’t, their national debt which is currently more than $200 billion, will increase by an overwhelming amount in a very short time.
We all know that after you have invested in this country, wether it’s by buying a house or starting a business, as soon as you sign that paper, they’ve got you by the balls. There’s nothing much you can later do to counter the government’s constant changes to laws, rules and regulations according to their whims and fancies that is killing your life and profiting them.
And when did the UAE government care about creating “200,000” extra jobs for expats? They’ve been making the Emiratis ride on their backs for years. “Openings for Emiratis only” have been advertised bluntly in petrol stations for years. Racism and inequality at the work space in favor of Emiratis for years. You haven’t got a promotion for years, thanks to young freshmen Emiratis suddenly coming in and climbing your back and becoming your managers in few months. All they’re doing is trying to stop expats from leaving and stopping the real estate from crashing by giving you false hopes that things are going to be better soon. After a new 20 million expats come to visit, the hell with you, who do you think you are?
Even if the event is successful and manages to be self sufficient, the expected long term benefits to the country are not guaranteed to positively impact the economy into the future as the “expectations” and “analysts” are stating. It’s also very likely to have grave negative impacts similar to what happened at the Shanghai world expo 2010, where many of the building and infrastructure was left useless and unable to be sold or utilized. The highway that was built for the Milan Expo 2015, that couldn’t be sold nor completed and cost over $2 billion, was dubbed the most expensive highway in Europe, due to the difficulties faced when building such unusually big scale projects in short period of times under the pressure of accommodating an event.
I strongly suggest that Emiratis do not fall for the over hype being created by the government, and demand more education on the core risks the country is facing if this event fails. Expats, who should also be carefully planning and preparing for the next few years, can always pack their bags and flee, leaving all their loans and liabilities behind, similar to what happened in the big recession. However, Emiratis have no where to leave. No country will even accept them due to their famous laziness, horrible work ethics and culture of being spoon fed. When shit hits the fan, Emiratis won’t even have a place in their own country after the Sheikhs sell out to save their own skin and wealth.