Dubai has won its bid to host the 2020 Expo.
Voting went through three rounds before a decision was was reached, with Sao Paolo being knocked out in the first round and Izmir in the second, leaving to a head-to-head battle with Yekaterinburg.
In the end, Dubai polled 116 of 165 of the votes cast - over 70% of the total.
Commenting on the result, Simon Moon, Middle East CEO of engineering consultancy Atkins, said: "Above all this provides another great boost of confidence, as well as a fantastic global endorsement for Dubai and the UAE.
"The bidding process has already provided a lot of positive sentiment and there is a strong sense within the market that things are going in the right direction, with good planning and decision-making underpinning future developments.
Met Green, head of research aand consultancy for CBRE Middle East, said: "Dubai thoroughly deserves to host an event of this magnitude. The Expo 2020 is really testament to the progress that Dubai has made in the last few years. The economic benefits of hosting the World Expo will not only have lasting effects on the UAE but it also leave a positive impression all across the region.
"Development projects such as the construction of the Dubai Metro Purple Line and the work in and around the Dubai World Central, the actual site of the expo, are likely to be expedited. The new airport would also witness significant development activities with further expansion of the airport fast tracking its use as a passenger hub and becoming a catalyst to development of the air transport infrastructure – a key driver for the sustained economic growth of the emirate.
"Importantly, this result will also lead to the creation of new employment opportunities in Dubai, strengthening the emirate’s position as a key financial hub in the region. We attribute this success to the socially vibrant and multicultural society that have come together to achieve prosperity in this wonderful city."
Dr Amina Al Rustamani, group CEO of TECOM Investments, said: “Winning Expo 2020 is a remarkable achievement for Dubai and the UAE. We must recognise the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, in seeking to bring the World Expo to the Middle East for the very first time – and for foreseeing the benefits it will bring to the business community and the wider knowledge economy.
"His ambitions for the Emirate over recent years have ensured Dubai is more than capable of welcoming the world on such a huge scale.
“Hosting Expo 2020 will be a catalyst for the ongoing diversification and development of Dubai’s knowledge economy, and we are likely to see the benefits in three distinct phases. There will be an immediate shot in the arm in terms of economic confidence.
"This will be followed by the planned infrastructure and project investments taking shape over the next six years during the preparation stage, which will offer growth opportunities across a range of industries – from manufacturing and media to tourism and education.
"Once the event is complete there will also be a strong legacy that the event leaves behind, which businesses will be able to take advantage of."