Year 2020 hasn’t been to kind to anyone and the Gulf region is no exception. With healthcare in a shambles, every economy is fighting to stay afloat. The novel coronavirus pandemic and oil price crash have badly hit the balance sheets of all oil-rich nations. As some countries try to establish other sources of income, ending their dependence on oil, a head start has given United Arab Emirates a big advantage in becoming first multi-layer Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economy.
Timely decisions have started reaping benefits for the UAE economy after oil income dried up for major producers. UAE established itself as a global tourist destination much before anyone could have expected a move like that. Many alternate modern sources of income were developed in the country as it moved to end its income dependence on oil.
Apart from its tourism sector, hosting big events is also a major part of the UAE economy. The country is set to host the 13th edition of Indian Premier League cricket tournament in 2020 and Dubai Expo in 2021. The cricket tournament will prove to be a “test match” before the country hosts the grand Expo in 2021.
IPL is one of the most-followed tournaments in India but because of the ongoing health scare, authorities decided to hold the games in UAE. Over 60 matches will be played in the 2020 version of the tournament. These matches will give a significant boost to the UAE’s economy by complementing the already established industries. As international players and staff stay in the country, the world will get the message that “UAE is safe” amid the rising global fear of the COVID-19 outbreak.
More people will be inclined to visit UAE after they see the country successfully hosting a major sports event. A major portion of the IPL’s operating budget will now be spent in UAE as organisers are working towards the successful conduction of the tournament.
Here are a few ways in which UAE will benefit from IPL:
Each IPL franchisee is allowed to take 24 players with them to UAE. Personal and team staff will accompany these players making travel to UAE a buzz among the international community. Players of different nationalities will land in the country, establishing confidence in the eyes of tourists and visitors of a “safe passage”. While many franchises are looking to hire chartered flights, some are also looking at first-class airfares if normal flights resume from their countries.
Franchisees will book hotels in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai providing a huge relief to the pandemic-hit hospitality industry. Apart from regular stay, players and staff members will also spend their mandatory quarantine period in these hotels, raising the number of total nights. According to estimates, IPL normally accounts for over 25,000 room nights but this year the figure could go up by as much as 20%.
UAE has always moved to advance its population and economy in the best possible way. The country developed huge stadiums even before it set out plans for hosting any major tournament. Sports infrastructure in UAE provides a breeding ground to players. With IPL 2020 in play, these marvels will also generate revenue for Emirates Cricket Board.
Many international cricket players take part in Indian Premier League. With no other big tournament in play, eyes are set on IPL 2020. Big companies will look to revive their sales with massive advertising and branding during the games. UAE will also get a big part of advertisements with more firms approaching local dealers to set up shops for ads.
Cricket tournaments receive a lot of fanfare among cricket-playing nations. From Britain to New Zealand, this sport is immensely popular among the masses. With IPL 2020 being played during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is set to receive a lot of attention from the global community. Countries and people who do not take interest in cricket will also look forward to a full-fledged tournament in the current scenario. This fanfare will eventually brighten UAE’s image as a positive and confident nation that believes in doing things that others couldn’t have even imagined doing.
Start-ups and entrepreneurship became a culture for the resident population as UAE presented itself as a tolerant and logical nation. The country’s wise leadership is known to take futuristic decisions that benefit the general public. Their foresight is the reason why UAE’s economy has not recorded steep falls unlike other nations’ economies. IPL 2020 will give UAE’s economy a huge thrust before the nation hosts the Dubai Expo in 2021.