The Dubai Expo 2020 event will require €6.45bn ($8.8bn) of investment to develop all of the required facilities and host the event, MEED’s Destination Dubai 2020 conference has been told.

That figure, Helal Saeed al-Marri, director-general at Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM), told the MEED event on 28 January, would be needed for the development and operational costs until the end of the event.

Al-Marri said a “significant amount” of the funding will come from the government, but there was also an opportunity for the private sector to invest during the build up to Expo 2020 and during the event itself. Al-Marri said there was a significant opportunity for foreign direct investment (FDI) from the event.

In the opening keynote session at the conference, Al-Marri said preparation for the event involved two main areas, development of the actual Expo site and the development of the city.

“The Expo site requires significant infrastructure and development, and the team is working on designs for this. This will be very project based,” he said. “The other side is city readiness. [The event] will require significant development around the city.”

Al-Marri highlighted that doubling the number of hotel rooms was a key part of preparing the city to handle the 25 million visitors expected to attend the event, 70 per cent of which will come from outside the UAE. This will include a number of “good quality” three- and four-star hotels.

The DTCM chief said the newly created Higher Committee would coordinate the activities of all the different government entities to ensure all projects are delivered on time.