Expo 2020 Dubai postponement to 2021 proposed

The Executive Committee of the BIE has agreed to propose changing the dates of Expo 2020 Dubai to 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.

The proposal to postpone Expo 2020 Dubai was made unanimously by members of the Executive Committee. This Committee is made up of delegates from 12 Member States. They met virtually on 21 April to discuss the change in dates that was requested by the Government of the UAE.

Two-thirds majority needed

The Exectuive Committee recognised that COVID-19 has had an unforseen impact on the expo, with global movement limited and public health affected around the world. The Committee suggests keeping the name ‘Expo 2020 Dubai’.

Changing the dates of Expo 2020 Dubai will require a two-thirds majority of the Member States of the BIE (Bureau International des Expositions). Therefore, the General Assembly will vote remotely between 24 April and 29 May on the Executive Committee’s recommendation. If this majority is achieved, the Expo will officially move to 2021.

More time needed because of COVID-19

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said she welcomed this recommendation.

She continued saying that “now the official process for agreeing a delay begins, and we look forward to working constructively with BIE Member States, our friends, and partners to confirm the new date of 1 October 2021 when the Expo will open its doors, and the UAE will welcome the world.”

A ‘shared international goal of progress’

The Secretary General of the BIE, Dimitri S. Kerkentzes said “World Expos are collective endeavours that express the shared international goal of progress for all humankind. I am confident that when the time is right, Expo 2020 Dubai will constitute the best platform to build, with renewed optimism and hope, a better and brighter future for all.”

“Solidatrity and unity have defined the work of the BIE since the birth of our Organisation,” he continued.

“Expos are expressions of a collective engagement, bringing humanity together in a spirit of peace and cooperation. It is now for our Member States to make a decision about when we will reconvene in Dubai to celebrate innovation and cooperation for humankind.”

This recommendation from the Executive Committee came after The Expo 2020 Dubai Steering Committee proposed exploring a year’s delay on 30 March. This was supported by Expo 2020 Dubai after consulting with participating countries and key UAE and international stakeholders. Many countries had expressed concerns over the impact of COVID-19.