Proposed one-year delay of Expo 2020 will allow everyone to showcase their best
The proposed one-year delay in Dubai Expo 2020 for a year is a positive move due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and uncertainty surrounding lockdowns and travel restrictions by countries worldwide.
Industry executive and analysts say one-year delay in Expo, as has been the case with most of the global events, will ensure that the hard work that has been put in by the organisers and over 190 countries which have confirmed participation in the mega event.
The Expo 2020 steering committee on Monday recommended to the International Bureau of Exhibitions, which is the intergovernmental organisation responsible for the International Expo, to study postponing the opening of Expo 2020 for a year. The BIE will now work with member states and organisers of Expo 2020 Dubai to consider revising the dates. The mega event was scheduled to be held from October 10, 2020 to April 1, 2021.
Tariq Chaudhry, Director, Grant Thornton, said no one knows for certain when the world will completely return back to normal and this uncertainty is here to stay for quite some time.
"It would be wise to move the Expo 2020 to a point in time when the dust has fully settled. This additional time will allow organisers to better understand the full scale of the impact. Assuming the best possible scenario that the outbreak will conclude within a few months, the global anxiety will still be very much present for a while," Chaudhry said.
Almost all the major sports, business and MICE events have been postponed or rescheduled to later this year or next year.
He said there will be a certain level of apprehensiveness when it comes to travelling, and priorities would have had changed for countries, organizations and society at large.
"Potentially delaying Expo 2020 could be a positive step to ensuring that the hard work and the investment of everyone involved will be experienced as planned, and for it be known as one of the greatest events that Dubai has put on," he added.
Iyad Abu Hweij, managing partner, Allied Investment Partners, said it is prudent to postpone the event to a future date as still there are uncertainties due to the unprecedented emergence of coronavirus.
"Even if we are able to contain the virus or a medicine/vaccine in place in the coming months, it might take more time for people to regain confidence, while Expo 2020 is expected to attract millions from different geographies. Furthermore, IMF said the global economy has entered into a recession. Hence, it is better to postpone the event," said Abu Hweij.
Imran Farooq, CEO, Samana Group, said the delay will allow developers to adjust to the changing trends of the market and re-aligning their marketing strategies for the local and international investors.
"As the world is trying to understand and tackle the financial and human impact of covid-19, the world is distracted, hence, all parties may not be able to showcase their products fairly during the event. Many other international events have been postponed for similar reasons. If it is held in 2021, Dubai will then be given ample time to complete its preparations and the world will also be ready to witness the greatest show on earth," said Farooq.
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