BIE formally recommends Expo 2020 postponement

Voting will be carried out between April 24 and May 29

Expo 2020 Dubai is estimated to draw in 25 million visitors
Expo 2020 Dubai is estimated to draw in 25 million visitors

The Executive Committee of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), has officially agreed to recommend the postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai. The World Expo governing body reached the decision as members of the Expo 2020 Dubai Steering Committee convened virtually last month to weigh up the challenges caused by COVID-19.

After assessing the impact of the pandemic on public health, economic activity and freedom of movement, BIE took the first formal step in possibly changing the dates for Expo 2020. Should the voting follow BIE’s recommendation, Expo 2020 would run from October 1 2021 to March 31 2022, though it would maintain the name Expo 2020 Dubai.

Voting will be carried out remotely between April 24 and May 29, with Article 28 of the 1928 Paris Convention stipulating that a two-thirds majority vote from Member States of the Organisation is needed for dates to be moved.

Reem Al Hashemy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said, "We welcome today’s recommendation of the Bureau International des Expositions, BIE, Executive Committee to support a request by the UAE government and Expo 2020’s Steering Committee to postpone Expo 2020 for a year.”

Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, the Secretary-General of the Bureau International des Expositions, stated, "World Expos are collective endeavours that express the shared international goal of progress for all humankind. I am confident that when the time is right, Expo 2020 Dubai will constitute the best platform to build, with renewed optimism and hope, a better and brighter future for all"

Dubbed ‘The World’s Greatest Show’, Expo 2020 is slated to draw in more than 25 million visitors, 70% of which will be from outside the UAE.

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