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The pre- and post-event planning roadmap for Expo 2020: Dubai’s coming-out-party

Sanjay Nadkarni (The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes

ISSN: 1755-4217

Article publication date: 10 June 2019




Expo 2020 is scheduled to open on October 20, 2020, and will be the largest mega-event to-date in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, drawing in up to 300,000 visitors a day, half of them from abroad, in its six months of operation. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview on how the story has evolved in terms of preparation for the event since Dubai won the bid to host Expo 2020 in 2013.


Content analysis of the existing literature was undertaken and industry white papers and government portals were consulted to assimilate knowledge sources and to formulate an informed opinion about the impact of Expo 2020 on Dubai.


The backdrop to Expo 2020 is outlined, followed by an overview of events with the support of literature. The pre-event buildup in terms of policies and infrastructure is assessed and an impact analysis is performed based on the framework of the triple bottom line model. The framework is used to explore post-event challenges, and the steps that will need to be taken by stakeholders and policymakers are also discussed.


There is a dearth of academic literature on Dubai as a destination. This paper brings into focus the importance of Expo 2020 to Dubai's sustainable development and, thus, addresses a critical gap in literature.



Nadkarni, S. (2019), "The pre- and post-event planning roadmap for Expo 2020: Dubai’s coming-out-party", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 259-265.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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