The World Expo in Dubai has been postponed by one year, following a vote from Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) Member States.
The global mega event will now run from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group, and Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, said:
“We welcome the decision of BIE Member States to support the delay Expo 2020 Dubai by one year. We are thankful to Member States for their continued commitment to contributing to a World Expo in Dubai that will play a pivotal role in shaping our post-pandemic world at a time when it will be most needed.”
“Organising an international and successful event would require stability, freedom of movement and safety which unfortunately the world is currently missing due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus,” said Beatrix Karl, Commissioner General of the Austria Pavilion.
“We look at the decision of postponing Expo 2020 Dubai for one year as the collaborative and supportive response that shows global solidarity amid the uncertainty and risks everyone is facing nowadays.”
With a BIE General Assembly impossible to stage due to COVID-19 restrictions, Member States voted remotely on the BIE Executive Committee’s recommendation for a delay as proposed by the UAE Government at the beginning of April and recommended by the BIE Executive Committee on April 21. While the vote remains open until 29 May, the two-thirds threshold was surpassed within a week of voting opening on 24 April.
Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the BIE, said: “I applaud the swift response by BIE Member States. Their support for the postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai – which will be formally approved on 29 May – is a renewed sign of solidarity, and demonstrates the shared will to work together in ‘creating the future’.
The first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, and largest ever event to take place in the Arab world, Expo 2020 was set to welcome 192 countries, plus businesses, multilateral organisations and educational establishments.