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UAE requests Expo 2020 Dubai postponement to October 2021


Further to this week’s agreement by the Steering Committee to explore options for a postponement, the Bureau of International Expositions has confirmed that a decision will be made by the Executive Committee meeting  by two-thirds majority vote of BIE Member States.

The BIE will consider a proposed change of dates for Expo 2020 Dubai, beginning 1 October 2021 and running to 31 March 2022, as formally requested by the UAE Government.

The Steering Committee reviewed with grave concern the major impact that the spread of COVID-19 is having on global public, social, and economic health. The members reaffirmed their solidarity with the international community as it navigates through the ramifications that have resulted from this unprecedented global crisis.

Expo 2020 Organisers reaffirmed the United Arab Emirates commitment to working hand in hand with its international partners to deliver a World Expo which holds true to its founding purpose: providing an inclusive global platform to address shared challenges, and seek solutions in the sprit of international cooperation and global solidarity. The global platform that Expo 2020 will provide will be needed more than ever.

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. A final decision on postponement can only be made by the BIE’s Executive Committee and the General Assembly. Article 28 of the BIE Convention stipulates that, a change of dates requires a two-thirds majority vote from Member States of the Organisation.

Elaborating on the decision, Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, 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,” she added.

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