Simon Clegg, a former chief executive of the British Olympic Association and Ipswich Town Football Club, has been appointed chief operations officer for Dubai Expo 2020.
Clegg, who managed the British Team to its most successful Olympic Games for 100 years at Beijing in 2008, said in a statement that he was “very excited” about his new role.
Dubai Expo 2020 is expected add more than $23 billion to the UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP), boosting it by about five percent.
The event is scheduled to be hosted by Dubai in an area next to Jebel Ali. Spanning 438,000 square metres, Dubai Expo 2020 will be 10 percent larger in size than Milan Expo 2015.
Reem Al-Hashimy, Expo 2020 director general and UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, said: “I am delighted to have someone of Simon’s calibre, leadership skills and considerable management experience of large global events join our team.
“His management and commercial skills will strengthen our team and help ensure the successful delivery of our 1,082 acre site. I look forward to working with him on this hugely important event for Dubai, the UAE and the entire region.”
Clegg added: “I am very excited about joining the team at Expo 2020. The vision and ambition of the project will make it a stunning experience for the expected 25 million visitors, 70 percent of whom will come from overseas.
“Dubai is already one of the world’s greatest tourist destinations and its position will be further cemented through the hosting of this truly global event.”
UAE officials are expecting to welcome 25 million visits to the event, five million more than Milan Expo 2015, and for it to create 277,000 jobs, most of which will be in the tourism industry.
At its peak, the Dubai Expo 2020 exhibition site at Dubai Trade Centre-Jebel Ali is designed to accommodate up to 300,000 visitors, with average week-day attendance expected at 153,000.
Running October 2020 through April 2021, the Expo will launch the country’s Golden Jubilee celebration and serve as a springboard from which to inaugurate a progressive and sustainable vision for the coming decades.