How is Dubai Expo 2020 affecting business?
An independent report publish earlier this year and commissioned by the Dubai government. They said that Dubai Expo 2020 will contribute more than Dh122.6 billion to the country’s economy by 2031. The report, by the consultancy EY, also stated that at its peak. Dubai Expo 2020 will generate business equivalent to 1.5 percent of the UAE’s GDP.
Expo 2020 is expected to add almost 100,000 new jobs to the economy. But what impact is the Expo having on UAE-based businesses now that it is just over a year away?
Wolfgang Douglas, Operations Director and CEO of Timberwolf LLC, says that his business is already experiencing significant growth ahead of Expo. Douglas’ business is a fourth-generation bespoke timber provider. It offers products and services ranging from specialist timber, steel design. Builds applications to bespoke theme feature infrastructure and the provision of supporting elements to construction.
“We are seeing record numbers of the back of Dubai Expo 2020. And provisionally agreed on tender projects worth up to Dh750 million. We are seeing huge volumes that are many times over previous years’ trading. We are seeing more than 1,000 percent growth,” he says.
The English ex-pat says that Timberwolf has established a unique position in the market. It is giving an advantage over its overseas and local competitors. As a result, the business has involved a number of highest-profile jobs here in the UAE. It is ranging from The Palm Jumeirah Crescent, Abu Dhabi Corniche, and the Burj Khalifa to Atlantis The Palm Hotel and Bloomingdales.
Other specialized, large-scale projects Timberwolf has contributed to include La Mer, Dubai Opera House, and City Walk.
“When we approach clients, we are able to offer custom, one-of-a-kind, locally manufactured products, constructed using the latest innovations. This includes eco-green and fast build technology, which only we offer in the region. Our products include the latest CLT (cross-laminated timber) structural technology, which we’re predominantly using throughout the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020,” he says.
“We also work with international partners that sign off on QA/QC [quality control and quality assurance] programs. If we are working with Expo, we joint venture with renowned international specialists, such as Bodino Italy, and use them to guarantee that Timberwolf continues to deliver the highest standards in the market.”
Douglas refers to how Timberwolf develops fast build technology and incorporates new design and build concepts such as light gauge steel and cross-laminated and glulam timber. It means that the products are strong and stable with high fire safety standards.
Exploring all opportunities
Timberwolf’s CEO believes that, although there is a multitude of opportunities surrounding the Expo event itself, firms should also look at the developments that are taking place on the back of the fair.
“To be part of the chain doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to work with Expo directly. You just need to ensure that you don’t let the chain pass by and you must invest now. Our work involves legacy work, pavilions, landscape, and hardscape work, but most of our business comes through supporting projects such as hotels, hospitals, and schools.”
Investing in staff
One area that Douglas believes many companies are overlooking. They are ensuring that they secure the right talent ahead of an upturn in business as Expo gathers momentum. He likes to take a hands-on approach to recruitment. They are putting candidates from across the world and the region through a rigorous assessment. They make sure he finds the very best applicants.
“If you are a local company in Dubai, I would advise that you invest in people and get the best staff that you can source. In the next one-and-a-half years, Timberwolf is in line to experience exponential growth and we are currently hiring every day. Employing around 330 people and we are hiring around 2,500 blue-collar workers through labor supply.
“We are hiring civil engineers, project directors, and project managers. Bringing people in from all over the world and we are also hiring local talent who, without Expo, would have to return home.”
A lasting legacy
Dubai Expo 2020 is already significantly increasing Timberwolf’s revenue. Its CEO believes that the long-term benefits will push the Dubai economy to the next level. “Dubai Expo will demonstrate to the world that the city can build first-world technology at the lowest tax rates in the world,” he says.
“The Emirate has the first-world infrastructure where businesses can make products here at a fraction of the price of other first-world economies. Dubai has lots of economic advantages and few negatives. The new Expo ethos is indicative of what the next ten years in the country are going to look like and if your business is not green, then it is not aligned to the values of Expo.”
Source: Gulf News