UAE residents are likely to attend the Dubai Expo, with seven in ten planning to visit as tourists
September 28th, 2021, Sonika Choubey

UAE residents are likely to attend the Dubai Expo, with seven in ten planning to visit as tourists

Most residents are eager to experience innovation and world-class technology at the Expo

As Dubai prepares to host the much-awaited Expo 2020, YouGov’s latest survey reveals that a large majority (82%) of UAE residents are likely to attend the mega event of the year. Only 5% said they are unlikely, while less than one in ten (8%) remain undecided.

At 82%, the intent to visit the Expo is higher than the pre-pandemic times (February 2020) where 67% had shown an interest in attending the event.

Among those who are likely to visit the expo this year, the 35–44-year cohort are most likely to be present at the Expo compared to the younger adults in the country. Similarly, working professionals are more likely than non-working residents (87% vs 62%) to be there at the event.

When asked about the purpose of the visit, almost seven in ten (68%) said they will be visiting the Expo site as a tourist. About three in ten (28%) indicated they will be there for work, while less than one in five (18%) said they will be participating as a volunteer. Unsurprisingly, the younger adults (those between 18-24 years) are most likely to be there as volunteers.

After a year of postponement, Expo 2020 Dubai is all set to provide extraordinary experiences to its visitors. Data shows that people in UAE are most eager to experience innovation and world-class technology at the Expo (58%). Half of the residents said they are looking forward to interacting with people from different nationalities and experiencing the art, history and culture of different countries (50% each). More than two in five (46%) are excited about the architectural wonders presented in form of pavilions, while some are interested in attending global investment forums (37%), education programs (36%) and enjoying the world’s delicacies and cuisines (35%).

Talking about pavilions, this year’s Expo will be a unique experience as for the first time in the history of World Expos, every participating country will have its own pavilion. Among those who are excited to see the pavilions, a majority (70%) thinks that the UAE pavilion is going to be the greatest attraction this year. The pavilions of other countries like Singapore (29%), India (21%) and China (20%) are also thought to be the attractive ones this year.

When it comes to the impact of Expo 2020 on the overall development of the nation, more than half (54%) of UAE residents said it will help in creating more economic opportunities in the country. A similar proportion (53%) thinks it will position UAE as the world’s leading knowledge economy. For both these areas, people who are 45+ seem to be more optimistic than the rest.

Similarly, amongst the nationality groups, Arab expats (54%) are most likely to believe that Dubai Expo will help in diversifying the country’s economy in the post-oil era.

Other perceived benefits of Expo 2020 include improvements in infrastructure and the energy sector (44%), growth of business relations with other countries (42%) and growth of SMEs (40%) in the kingdom.

It seems the overall excitement for the Dubai Expo 2020 is quite positive as a large majority (85%) in UAE feels that the event is going to be a success despite the pandemic.

Data was collected online among 1007 respondents in the UAE by YouGov’s Omnibus between September 13th- 19th 2021 using YouGov’s panel of over 15 million people worldwide.