As a major air travel hub, Dubai has long been a melting pot of cultures and peoples from around the globe, linking the US and Europe with Africa and the Far East. Indeed, this was a major factor behind the decision to proceed with Dubai Expo 2020 later this year and the huge effort and cost that has been invested in the project. However, there is a shadow creeping towards this huge enterprise.
Coronavirus, or Covid – 19 as it has now been designated, could cast doubt over the success of our huge Expo project.
So far there have been only nine confirmed cases of the highly infectious condition here in Dubai and most of those infected have been Chinese nationals. Thankfully, there have not yet been any fatalities resulting from the virus in Dubai but while the world waits to assess the ongoing risks, travel disruption, restrictions and a fear of the unknown are seen as threats to the tourism industry in general and Expo 2020 in particular.
Expo 2020 Dubai hopes to attract eleven million overseas visitors during the six months from October 2020. In 2019 there were almost one million visitors to Dubai from China. Extended travel restrictions on Chinese tourists coming to Dubai could therefore account for a 10% shortfall in visitor numbers to the Expo before consideration is given to numbers from other countries that may stay away due to a perceived danger of infection at a large global event.
There is still time for the situation to improve. It is estimated that if the virus is not contained and travel restrictions relaxed by the end of March then we may begin to see further serious impact on visitor numbers and investment in the region.
Such fears are adding to global uncertainty about the potential economic consequences of the continuing disruption being caused by Covid – 19.
The gold rate rose again today to an almost seven year high of 5848 AED per Troy Ounce as investors again sought ‘safe haven’ investments. There is room for further increases as this situation develops.
Browse our website or call us today on 055 889 4600.By iGold. Published on 19th February 2020.