Bill Clinton: Dubai is in a strong position to hold World Expo 2020

Former US president Bill Clinton has hailed the growth of the UAE and he believes that Dubai is in a strong position to host the World Expo 2020.Mr Clinton met with Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai – and the pair discussed a range of global issues.The ex-leader of the North American country reserved praise for the “cultural boom” that the UAE, and Dubai in particular, has witnessed in recent years.Speaking during an open session at Dubai's American University, he suggested that places that have recovered well from an economic downturn can sometimes get stronger in the long term.This is certainly the case in the UAE, as the country was badly affected by the global financial crisis, but it has turned things around in the last 12 months, with foreigners pouring into the city to secure new investments in property and other sectors.”That's what Dubai and the UAE represent and I think you are in a strong position to win the bid for Expo 2020 because Dubai's model of shared prosperity is more important today than ever and an inspiration to many countries in the Middle East,” Mr Clinton remarked.Government officials in the Gulf are desperate for Dubai to secure the rights to host the prestigious event in seven years' time, as they believe it will really put the emirate on the map.Dubai will go up against Ayutthaya (Thailand), Izmir (Turkey), Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Ekaterinburg (Russia) in the race for the World Expo.Organisers of the emirate's bid pointed towards the huge impact that previous gatherings have had on the economy of the host city.They said the 2010 version in Shanghai helped to transform a “heavily-industrialised city centre area into a thriving cultural and commercial district”. The Expos are held once every five years and the next one will take place in Milan in 2015.

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