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Mon 30 Mar 2020 06:26 PM

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Expo 2020 Dubai to seek one-year postponement

UAE and Expo 2020 Dubai will now look to establish a change in dates

Expo 2020 Dubai to seek one-year postponement

Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to attract 11 million visitors to the six-month-long event, which will feature pavilions from 192 countries.

Expo 2020 Dubai will explore the possibility of postponing the event by one year in order to allow the world recover from coronavirus pandemic, organisers announced today.

In a statement issued today, Expo 2020 said the BIE will now work with its member states and Expo 2020 Dubai organisers to establish a change in dates.

“A final decision on postponement can only be made by the BIE’s executive committee and the General Assembly,” the statement said, adding a two-thirds majority vote from member states of the organisation is required.

“The global situation is fast moving, and remains unpredictable,” Reem Al Hashemy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai.

“Over the last several weeks, we have been consulting with key UAE and international stakeholders to review the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our plans and preparations for Expo 2020 Dubai.”

She said many of the countries due to participate in Expo 2020 have been significantly impacted by Covid-19, and have sought a delay to the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai by one year, to enable them to overcome this challenge.

“The UAE and Expo 2020 Dubai have listened. And in the spirit of solidarity and unity, we supported the proposal to explore a one year postponement at today’s steering committee meeting," she said.

Al Hashemy said Expo 2020 will follow due BIE processes on making the decision to delay.

Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, Secretary General of BIE, welcomed Expo 2020 organiser's decision.

"The UAE’s decision to support a one year postponement demonstrates pragmatism, openness, and commitment to delivering an Expo that lives up to our shared ambition,” he said.

“We retain full confidence in the UAE’s ability to host a World Expo that inspires and delights millions, when the time is right."

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