Taking into consideration the tricky scenario, organisers and steering committee participants are planning to postpone Expo 2020 by a year.
The Steering Committee reviewed the major impact COVID-19 is having on global public, social, and economic health. The Committee collectively agreed to explore the possibility of a one year delay to the opening of Expo 2020. The Bureau International des Expositions, BIE, will now work with its Member States and Expo 2020 Dubai organisers to establish a change in dates. A final decision on postponement will however be made only by the BIE’s Executive Committee and the General Assembly.
Elaborating on the decision, Reem Al Hashemy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai said: “The global situation is fast moving, and remains unpredictable. Over the last several weeks, we have been consulting with key UAE and international stakeholders to review the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our plans and preparations for Expo 2020 Dubai.”
She further added that countries have been significantly affected by COVID 19 and therefore the pressing need to postpone a mega event like this by one year. This she said, will allow everyone time to overcome the tough situation.
Dr Malick Diop, Commissioner General of Senegal at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Around the world we can see the best of humankind as people work together to save lives and contain this virus. Expos are about the best of humanity and we look forward to coming together in Dubai when the conditions are right for what we confidently expect will be an incredible global event.”
Dody Edward, Commissioner General of Indonesia at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Expos are a place where the world comes together. After a year shaped by isolation and distancing, imagine the appetite for human contact and collaboration in 2021. Indonesia is hopeful the postponement will be passed by the BIE General Assembly and we can all look towards a brighter 2021.”
Justin McGowan, Commissioner General of Australia at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “If the BIE General Assembly decides to postpone it gives us another year to produce an even more inspiring World Expo. In a year’s time, the world will be a very different place and Expo will be an opportunity to highlight our united resilience and vision for the future. At the moment our collective energy needs to be directed elsewhere.”
Expo 2020 Dubai organisers will continue to assess the situation and consult closely with all stakeholders in Dubai, the UAE and internationally.