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EXPO2020 Dubai Expo 2020: 'World loses if we don't win,' says Menacom chief

Dubai could teach the world a lesson on how a city can be built and driven forward in a cosmopolitan environment

By Zaher BitarSenior Reporter
October 21, 2013
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Joseph Ghossoub, chairman and chief executive officer of MENA Communications Group (Menacom), believes that Dubai deserves to win the bid for hosting Expo 2020 for its capability and distinction.

“The world will lose a big opportunity if Dubai does not win the bid for Expo 2020,” he added.

According to Ghossoub, “Hosting an Expo means bringing the world together to exchange views on commerce and culture.”

“It is not a matter of winning the bid or just hosting it. It is about hosting the bid successfully and Dubai is the only city that can make a difference,” he said.

“What Dubai has to offer and is able to offer promotes this city to be the perfect place for hosting an international event of this stature.”

Ghossoub added: “Dubai has proven to every one that ‘yes’ it can be done and ‘yes’ it can be achieved and ‘yes’ it can be made better.”

Ghossoub stressed that there were plenty of factors that suppors Dubai’s bid. But the primary reason was the vision of what Dubai was and is currently today. Added to that was the factor that Dubai is still able to achieve on multiple platforms. “What Dubai has accommodated along the last 40 years has made this emirate a city of the world.”

Ghossoub is one of the prominent figures in the communications industry in the Middle East. He remarked that should Dubai win the bid it could offer to the world what it has been missing thus far. A lot will come under focus, not only in the Expo but the world should see and understand what is in Dubai.

“Dubai is the central point where important things should be happening.

“I don’t want to talk about the first class infrastructure we have in Dubai. We also are aware of the cultural, social, professional activities in Dubai. In that it is second to none.”

Why Dubai deserves it

Accodding to Ghossoub, Dubai could teach the world a lesson on how a city can be built and driven forward in a cosmopolitan environment.

Ghossoub disagrees with the recent UN Global Happiness report which states that Dubai ranks 14th among the happiest cities in the world. “It is the happiest city from every single aspect. I have been in Dubai for over 30 years and I never felt unhappy here at all.”

According to Ghossoub, happiness is in the way people live, work, and socialize. In Dubai people have a bit of everything and share it with other residents at the same time.

Dubai, according to Ghossoub, has its unique selling point. “it has its own noha. It is the best incubator for global knowledge,” he said.

Attributing the city’s success to the wise vision of the UAE’s rulers, Ghossoub said that Dubai didn’t come out of nowhere. Dubai’s achievement is part of the UAE and the far reaching vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

“Nothing has come by chance. The city was built and designed to facilitate the lives of its people and businesses and not the way around.

“Shaikh Mohammed used to call prominent businessmen to his palace asking them what Dubai could do to attract quality business prospects. Dubai is a package of too many positive factors. It has been built around the interests of its people and the business community.”

The ease of doing business, connection with the world, best telecommunication facilities, transportation and accommodation in the city enables it to be the central business hub joining east and west.

Ghossoub went on to highlight the role of the UAE’s people in Dubai’s success. “The residents are responsible and accountable and this has helped the city to grow and prosper.”

Comparing Dubai to the cities that are also bidding for the Expo, Ghossoub said: “The rest of the bidding cities may have everything, but it may not measure up to the standards and quality that Dubai possesses.

“It’s the small things that really matter,” Ghossoub stressed and gave an example, “To go from one place to another within Russia can take you at least three hours.”

Dubai was built with a purpose of catering to living and business at the same time. Moreover, it is stable and safe and this makes a huge difference.”

Ghossoub feels that he belongs to this city. “I am proud to be an ambassador to this city,” he said adding that Dubai should not bid but should be appointed for hosting Expo 2020 as the voters would not find a better venue. “The Expo is a signature event and Dubai deserves it.

Highlighting the changes that could take place if Dubai wins the bid Ghossoub stressed, “In the next seven years we will see a completely new Dubai. Winning the bid will not be the end, rather it will be the beginning of a new era.

“This will not happen because of hosting the event but because it is Dubai status: it has always been a forward thinking emirate. We need to have this convention in the Middle East and Dubai can make a difference.”

In the coming years, Dubai will have additional constructions, new airports with a full fledged work force, he opined.

“New development across all facets will be seen in Dubai. Ghossoub, however, expected the inflow of new businesses as well as a unprecedented boom in the hospitality sector to cope with the demands of the Expo.”

Commenting on the speculation that the property boom in Dubai could go out of control Ghossoub felt that there would be nothing wrong with it.

“Dubai is in the boom phase and who wants less. Anybody who wants less should not be in Dubai. Our duty is to make this event successful,” he added.

Confidence in Dubai

Connecting some details of Dubai to his life, Ghossoub said that his story was similar to Dubai’s success story.

“Dubai was growing and has acted on this growth.Shaikh Mohammad sets the goals and we follow. “Some of the projects were launched and I was hesitant at that time, but my confidence in the leaders’ vision pushed me to go with the growing trend until we saw Dubai becoming a central business hub very quickly.”

Going back to the 90’s, Ghossoub remarked how he used to draw out a map of the Arabian Gulf to point out Dubai’s location. “Today even the remotest areas in the world know about Dubai. I do believe in Dubai growth and I will walk all the way.”

Ghossoub attributed Dubai’s achievement to the leader’s vision and the passion for their country and people. “You can’t do any thing without love for your people and country. This is the main component for any nation’s achievement. Hosting the Expo 2020 in Dubai means a lot to me. I have no doubt that Dubai would win the bid.”