Expo 2020 Dubai likely to postpone until 2021 due to COVID-19 outbreak
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Expo 2020 Dubai likely to postpone until 2021 due to COVID-19 outbreak

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The global situation is fast-moving and remains unpredictable
Reem Al Hashemy, director general of Expo 2020 Dubai

Expo 2020 Dubai has announced that it will likely postpone the event by a year in the wake of the COVD-19 outbreak.

Expo 2020 representatives have been working in consultation with key UAE and international stakeholders, as well as the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the governing body for World Expos, to ascertain the impact of the coronavirus and determine whether or not to go ahead as planned.

A proposal made by the Steering Committee, supported by Expo 2020, on 30 March, suggested that the Expo explore the option of a one-year postponement.

The Expo will now follow protocols, set out by BIE, to decide whether to postpone, while the BIE will work with member states and Expo 2020 to establish a date change.

A final decision on postponement can only be made by BIE's General Assembly and will require a two-thirds majority vote from member states in order to change the dates.

Expo 2020 continues to follow guidance from local health authorities, as well as the World Health Organisation, and said in a statement that its main priority is to "keep everybody involved in this Expo healthy and well."

"We remain firm in our collective aim to deliver an Expo that is true to its time and to our shared, urgent priorities but it is clear this is not the right time."

Reem Al Hashemy, director-general of 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.

"While they remain firmly committed to Expo 2020, many countries have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and have therefore expressed a need to postpone the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai by one year, to enable them to overcome this challenge. The UAE and Expo 2020 Dubai have listened.

"And in the spirit of solidarity and unity, we supported the proposal to explore a one-year postponement. We look forward to welcoming the world, which we are certain will only come out of this pressing challenge stronger, and more resilient."

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Expo 2020 Dubai has announced that it will likely postpone the event by a year in the wake of the COVD-19 outbreak.
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