Expo 2020 Dubai will explore postponing event by a year due to COVID-19 outbreak
Expo 2020 will nowbe exploring the option of moving the event by one year. Members of the Expo 2020 Dubai’s Steering Committee held a virtual meeting on Monday, 30 March, to discuss various options around the start date of the emirate's biggest event till date.
According to an official statement, "the Committee collectively agreed to explore with the BIE, the World Expo governing body, the possibility of a one year delay to the opening of Expo 2020. The Bureau International des Expositions, BIE, will now work with its Member States and Expo 2020 Dubai organisers to establish a change in dates."
However, a final decision on postponement can only be made by the BIE’s Executive Committee and the General Assembly. According to Article 28 of the BIE Convention, a change of dates requires a two-thirds majority vote from Member States of the Organisation.
The 173-day Expo was originally expected to run from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021, and host a variety of architectural displays, from the flagship Al Wasl Plaza and thematic pavilions, to the 192 country pavilions at its 4.38km2 site.
Reem Al Hashemy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai said:
"The global situation is fast moving, and remains unpredictable. 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.
"While they remain firmly committed to Expo 2020, many countries have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and they have therefore expressed a need to postpone 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. We look forward to welcoming the world, which we are certain will only come out of this pressing challenge stronger, and more resilient than it ever was."
"We will follow due BIE processes on making the decision to delay Expo 2020. We remain firm in our collective commitment to deliver an Expo that’s true to its time and to our shared, urgent priorities. We believe that in light of this global challenge, humanity needs to come together to remember what unites us. That remains the collective ambition of all those involved in this Expo."
Reuters reported that the officials from the United Arab Emirates and foreign countries participating in the event, were expected to recommend a delay when they met virtually on Monday afternoon.
Approximately 25 million visitors are expected at Expo 2020 Dubai – with more than 70% from outside the UAE.
The sights will include a number of structures designed by ‘starchitects’ – the superstars of the architecture world – as well as a number of emerging architectural talent from around the world.
Expo 2020 Dubai, will be the first World Expo held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, will serve as a platform for international collaboration, fostering innovation and creating meaningful partnerships that will live far beyond 2020 – not only for the UAE, but for the wider region and the world.