Coronavirus: Expo 2020 Dubai will be delayed for one year, governing body confirms

The world fair will be held in the emirate from October 1, 2021, until March 31, 2022

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Expo 2020 Dubai will be held next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world fair's governing body approved plans for the emirate to host the event from October 1, 2021, until March 31, 2022, with the occasion to retain its Expo 2020 title.

The decision was confirmed after two thirds of Bureau International des Expositions member states voted in favour of the delay in light of the challenges posed to the international community by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Dubai Expo delay: It will now run until March 2022

Dubai Expo delay: It will now run until March 2022

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, said the international extravaganza would play a vital role in shaping the post-pandemic world.

“We welcome the decision of BIE member states to support the delay of Expo 2020 Dubai by one year," Sheikh Ahmed said.

"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.

“We have sought to build over the past 50 years bridges, connections and partnerships around the world because we believe in genuine collaboration to safeguard the future of all.

"This swift and overwhelming vote reflects the strength of our international partnerships and truly reflects the positive role the UAE and Dubai play with all countries around the world.

“This affirmation by the international community of Dubai’s offering and its ability to deliver, further strengthens our commitment to matching ambition with achievement to host an event that will capture the world’s imagination, when the time is right.”

Remote voting was to remain open until May 29, but the two-thirds threshold has been reached weeks in advance.

“I applaud the swift response by BIE member states," Dimitri Kerkentzes, the group's secretary general, said.

"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'.

“In their support for the one-year postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai, member states of the BIE are giving the world the opportunity to reconvene in 2021, when together, we can address the challenges facing humanity and celebrate the unity and solidarity that strengthen us."