Distinction in locals' support for a major and mega-event: Case of expo 2020 dubai and grand pri

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Event Management


© 2019 Cognizant, LLC. The purpose of the present research is to examine and explain any possible variance in the perception of local Emiratis towards hosting a major and a mega-event in the preevent phase. The Grand Prix Formula One was considered as a major event, which is organized yearly in Abu Dhabi. The EXPO Dubai 2020 was considered as an example of a one-time mega-event. Data of Emirati nationals living in UAE were collected in person in the fall 2016. A self-administered questionnaire was developed that consisted of tourism perception, negative and positive impacts of the events, and individual support for the events. The questionnaire was adjusted to each event and N = 360 were collected for EXPO 2020 Dubai and N = 533 were received for the Grand Prix F1 Abu Dhabi questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and t tests were used to identify differences in participants' perception of the events. Results show that significant differences exist in locals' perspectives towards a major and mega-event, especially in perceptions of positive impacts and individual support. UAE residents have never experienced a mega-event such as EXPO or Olympics organized on their soil, which means they do not know exactly what to expect. The perceived impacts of EXPO might be different after the first experience. Thus, the present research opens more questions, which may be considered for a future research. This work contributes to knowledge base and it confirms a need to specifically and independently approach by size different events.

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Author First name, Last name, Institution

Nataša Slak Valek, Zayed University