ISLAMABAD : United Arab Emirates has launched an official campaign to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, an event that rivals the Olympic Games in scale and prestige.

Dubai will spend between US 2-4 billion dollars on infrastructure development, if it manages to secure the bid for the 2020 World Expo, that is expected to attract over 50 million visitors from around the world, officials said.

Dubai is vying to be the host to the world's largest rotating global exposition and is competing five cities including Ayutthaya (Thailand); Ekaterinburg (Russia); Izmir (Turkey) and Sao Paulo (Brazil).

The World Expo in Dubai will serve as a global hub for ideas and a springboard for creativity, Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Higher Committee for hosting the World Expo 2020 said in a statement. The UAE officially presented its bid to the World Expo committee - Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris in November 2011 to host the World Expo in Dubai between January 4 and June 30, 2020.

 The successful city will be announced by the BIE following a vote by its 160 member nations in November 2013. The last World Expo was held in Shanghai, where the UAE participated with a large pavilion which won two architecture awards and attracted 2 million visitors.  During the global campaign the government would highlight the reasons for Dubai being the ideal choice to host this six-month event from January 4 to June 30, 2020. The expo with the theme, Connecting Minds, Creating the Future could translate into huge gains for the country's tourism and hospitality sector.

 The UAE has proposed hosting the Expo at "Exhibition City," a 400-hectare site to be constructed on the southwestern edge of Dubai, adjacent to Dubai World Central, which is also home to Al Maktoum International Airport, that will host the 2013 Dubai Airshow.

 "It is fitting that we launch our campaign here at Dubai International Airport, our gateway to the world," Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo, said.

 He said Germany's hosting of the 2000 World Expo created more than $7.4 billion in value for that country. The most recent Expo in

Shanghai, China, in 2010, generated $2 billion in revenues for the host city, besides increasing tourism arrivals to 13 per cent."

"What we do have today is estimates of what other cities have spent in the past on hosting the Expo. And the range which we have looked at is between $2 billion and $4 billion.

It's the type of cost we have seen other cities spend for the main infrastructure for the event,"

Hilal Saeed Al Merri, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), said the host cities in the past have had a "very positive economic contribution".  "That means the income is higher than those [investment] figures," he said. "A lot of that infrastructure is already in place such as the airports and the airlines which will work to our advantage in terms of lowering the overall cost."

The Expo, held once every five years, is known for promotion and exchanges of ideas and development of the world economy, culture, science and technology, to allow exhibitors to display their achievements and improve international relationships. Besides being financially profitable, it would also boost tourism and create jobs.

Reem Al Hashemi, UAE Minister of State and Managing Director of the

Higher Committee for the World Expo, said "By connecting people we can foster greater cooperation and understanding between people and cultures.