Director general for Dubai Expo 2020 supports the proposal to explore a one-year postponement for six-month-long event.
Organisers of Expo 2020 Dubai have backed a proposal to postpone the event for one year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement came on Monday after a meeting between officials from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and foreign countries participating in the nearly six-month-long event that was due to begin in October.
“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. While everyone involved in Expo 2020 Dubai remains firmly committed, many countries have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and they have expressed a need to postpone Expo’s opening by one year, while they focus on overcoming this challenge. In a spirit of solidarity and unity, we support the proposal to explore a one-year postponement made by the Steering Committee meeting. We will follow the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) processes on making the decision to delay Expo 2020 Dubai. The BIE will now work with its Member States and Expo 2020 Dubai to establish a change in dates.” Director-General for Expo 2020 Dubai Reem al-Hashimy said in a statement.
“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. The statement also quoted Dimitri S Kerkentzes, the secretary-general of the Bureau International des Expositions which had awarded the fair to Dubai in 2014, as saying the recommendation was “welcome” under the circumstances.
The event has helped boost Dubai’s critical real-estate market and had officials hoping for more tourists in the city-state that is home to the world’s busiest airport for international travel.
However, the pandemic has currently grounded flights by Dubai’s long-haul carrier Emirates, jeopardized global tourism and caused further panic in a real estate market already down by a third since the 2014 announcement.
An estimated 11 million overseas visitors were expected to attend the showpiece of culture, business, and technology featuring pavilions from 192 countries.
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