As the world has adapted to living and working in a pandemic, vaccinations and several other guidelines have meant that Dubai can host Expo 2020. Taking place from October 2021 until March 2022, the exhibition is set to welcome around 25 million visitors from all over the globe. It will deliver a much-needed boost to the UAE’s travel and tourism sector. In anticipation of this boost, we share our thoughts on what the UAE’s hotel sector can expect from Expo 2020 by looking back at the previous two world exhibitions in Milan and Shanghai.
Expo 2010 – Shanghai
Given its proximity to Shanghai, Hangzhou has observed similar demand patterns during the Expo period but equally witnessed declines in average rates and occupancies the following year. This could be an indicator of things to come for Abu Dhabi, which is only a one-hour drive from the Expo site and is hoping to be positively impacted by the event.
Expo 2015 – Milan
Expo 2020 – Dubai
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About Hala Matar Choufany
Hala is an experienced Regional President and Managing Partner, an industry expert, and is recognized as one of the most influential leaders in the hospitality industry, notably in the Middle East and Africa region.
Hala has advised on more than 5,000 hospitality and mixed-use projects in the last 20 years across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. She has advised clients in areas such as Valuations, Acquisitions, Asset Management, Strategic investments and development, Contract Negotiations, and general Real Estate Strategic Advisory.
Hala has authored more than 50 publications and speaks frequently at investment and hospitality related conferences on a range of topics including asset valuation, investments, management issues and women leadership.
In addition to being a Board Member of HVS Global, Hala sits on the Boards of Harvard Business School Club of the GCC, Hotel Investment Advisory Board, and is regularly invited to Boards as a subject matter expert in the industry. Hala is frequently invited to discuss hotel and tourism trends on major news channel including Alarabiya, Bloomberg, Abu Dhabi TV, Forbes, Breaking Travel News and CNN.
Hala is also a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC).
Hala completed Executive Education at Harvard Business School. She also holds an MBA in Finance and Strategy from IMHI (Essec- Cornell) University, Paris, France and a BA in Hospitality Management from Notre Dame University, Lebanon. Hala is fluent in English, French and Arabic.
Born in Beirut, Hala lived and worked in several cities across Europe, Asia and Middle East and is a mother of three.
For more information, contact Hala at [email protected].