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BIE officially approves new Expo 2020 Dubai dates

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on May 30, 2020 | Last updated on May 30, 2020 at 06.14 am
dubai expo 2020, BIE, coronavirus, covid19, postponed

(Twitter)

An official announcement was made on Friday after the voting process ended today.

The General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) has officially approved the one-year postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai.

As a result, the dates of Expo 2020 Dubai have officially changed to October 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022. The event will keep the name 'Expo 2020 Dubai', a statement issued on Friday said.

The Government of the UAE had requested a change in dates of Expo 2020 Dubai following a meeting of the Expo 2020 Dubai Steering Committee in which participating countries expressed their need to postpone the Expo's opening in order to overcome the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In line with BIE regulations, the request was examined by the Executive Committee of the BIE, which on April 21 proposed the postponement to the General Assembly of the BIE. I

In accordance with the BIE Convention, the change in dates required a two-thirds majority vote of Member States for the change of dates to take effect.

Since April 24, voting on the postponement has been carried out remotely by the government-appointed delegates of the BIE's 170 Member States. A majority of two-thirds was reached as early as May 4, with voting remaining open in accordance with the Executive Committee's recommendation until May 29 at 6pm (Paris time).

Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, the Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), stated: "I welcome this resounding expression of support shown by the international community to postpone Expo 2020 Dubai. While this situation is unprecedented, the response by the Government of the UAE and by our Member States demonstrates the strong bonds that tie us and the shared commitment we have to delivering a truly inclusive World Expo.

"The difficulties raised by the Covid-19 pandemic illustrate the importance of sharing solutions and coordinating our actions. The time we spend apart leads us to reflect on the importance of being together, and reminds us that even in the digital age, shared experiences are the essence of our humanity. The world is now more than ever looking forward to Expo 2020 Dubai to connect, reflect and celebrate the future."

Expo 2020 organisers had earlier issued a statement:

'Expo 2020 Dubai is gearing up to help shape a post-pandemic world and create a better future for all after a two-thirds majority of Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) Member States voted in favour of postponing the next World Expo by one year.

The global mega event will now run from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, a delay that allows all participants to safely navigate the impact of Covid-19, and allows the World Expo to focus on a collective desire for new thinking to identify solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group, and Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, said: "We welcome the decision of BIE Member States to support the delay Expo 2020 Dubai by one year. 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.

"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 hosting an event that will capture the world's imagination, when the time is right." '

With a BIE General Assembly impossible to stage due to Covid-19 restrictions, 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 remained open until May 29, the two-thirds threshold was surpassed within a week of voting opening on April 24.

The first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, and largest ever event to take place in the Arab world, Expo 2020 will welcome 192 countries, plus businesses, multilateral organisations and educational establishments.


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