The impact of Dubai's Expo2020 win on logistics firms

Executives express their concerns on rising costs and HR challenges.
Logistics, ANALYSIS


Logistics Middle East asks some logistics executives in the region what impact Dubai's Expo2020 win will have on them?

Ayman Badawi, global human resources director, Aramex:

There is going to be a gain and a pain. The financial numbers of your revenue may increase but, people will be asking how much we’re going to take out of that pie. Of course other companies that didn’t exist here before are going to come here, so you're going to have extra competition. Inflation, it is going to go back to 2004, 2005 at times. One of the biggest things is people. People will start jumping from one job to the next for the money. So it is not going to be all rosy. It is a great time of course, but for HR it will be double the effort. Traffic is going to be horrendous. Logistically, going from point A to point B is going to take more time.

Alan White, vice president ground operations Middle East, National Air Cargo:

We are a big, big supporter; we've got it on our aircraft, on our vehicles. It is a very exciting time for those of us who have been in Dubai for a while. Being at DWC, we are ready and keen, because we have the facilities there, and the site is close to there as well. For logistics the prospects are huge.

My concerns are the costs going up where we don't own our own building. We are all thinking - will this create another bubble? There is going to be a negative impact, people are going to manipulate it for different reasons. That's human nature.

But in all honesty, I think all of us will benefit. And not only will Dubai benefit, but the whole region. We will see rapid growth and some development work particularly in Dubai World Central in terms of rail and metro links, and the ability to handle transit passengers.

When we do our future planning of where the company will be in the lead up to Expo2020, this will help drive investment. It will help when we go to a board, or ask for certain things. The award of Expo2020 will definitely help my business grow, both in infrastructure and people.

Carlo Rosa, managing director, MENA & Central Asia, CEVA Logistics:

If Dubai will be able to leverage this expo, it will become the centre of gravity for this region. And when I say this region, not only the Middle East, but everything that is around - Indian subcontinent and Africa. It will be a very good opportunity to get Dubai to be considered as an important hub, by all multinational companies. We started moving our headquarters for the region here, several companies are doing the same.


Laura Wilde, manager facilities and planning, dnata:

There is a lot of focus on the impact at DWC and wider area. We will see some big changes for Expo2020. At DWC I think there will be a huge rush for grabbing of land to be in the surrounding area. But, it is an exciting time for dnata and the Emirates Group.

Mustapha Kawam, managing director, gulf states for Globe Express Services:

It is quite interesting, and we are excited and looking forward to it. Everyone is talking about house prices increasing, but it will only increase in the first couple of months, and later on it will stabilise, because they are over-exaggerating. It does not make sense. Some are becoming greedy; you can't blame them they want to make money. But after a period of time, it will cool down. Now everyone is excited. The main challenge is now to retain our own people so it doesn't cost us more to hire new people. I'm hoping the government put some caps to make sure things go in the right direction.

The cost of living impact?

Satnam Grover, general manager – logistics, Dulsco

It is a game-changer. Demand will be very high [for staffing solutions], and supply will be low. But inflation will be so high, that definitely the manpower that we have will come back and say "can I get a salary raise, I'm not able to manage my expenses. Whatever I earn, I'm forced to spend all my money here."

Alan White, vice president ground operations Middle East, National Air Cargo:

If you talk to anyone, the biggest concern you get is the cost of living in Dubai. And even before the 27th. The single biggest challenge if you ask an employee is managing the cost of living. It can't be met with the money they’re getting.

Laura Wilde, manager facilities and planning, dnata:

This might push it on the company to give more company-owned accommodation rather than an allowance, because that will not necessarily cover their rents anymore.

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