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Expo 2020 Dubai announces new dates

With a BIE General Assembly impossible to stage due to COVID-19 restrictions, member states voted remotely on the decision to postpone the mega event

The organisers of Expo 2020 Dubai have announced new dates for the mega event, following voting of the member states of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE). A two-thirds majority in favour of postponing the event by one year was recorded, with the event now scheduled to run from October 1, 2021 to March 1, 2022.

According to a statement, the delay will allow participants to safely navigate the impact of COVID-19 and help shape a post-pandemic world and create a better future for all. It also enables the World Expo to focus on a collective desire for new thinking, to identify solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time, the organisers said.

“We welcome the decision of BIE member states to support the delay. We are thankful to them 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 last 50 years bridges, connections, and partnerships around the world because we believe in genuine collaboration to safeguard the future of all,” said Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Sheikh Ahmed is also chairman of Dubai Airports, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman and Emirates Group CEO.

He added, “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.”

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

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 May 29, the two-thirds threshold was surpassed within a week of voting opening on April 24, the statement said.

Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the BIE remarked, “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’. 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. With its theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 Dubai will offer the world a unique platform to share the lessons, solutions and ideas for a better tomorrow.”

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