Expo 2020 Dubai: UAE Government requests postponement in solidarity with participating countries

The Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has formally requested the postponement of World Expo 2020 Dubai in a letter addressed to Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE).

In the letter, His Highness Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of the UAE, seeks the postponement of the World Expo following in-depth discussions by the Expo 2020 Dubai Steering Committee with the Organiser and the BIE on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and in solidarity with participating countries. Following consultations with the BIE, participating countries and key stakeholders, the UAE has proposed 1 October 2021 – 31 March 2022 as the new opening dates of Expo 2020 Dubai. The letter also specifies that should the Member States approve the change of dates for Expo 2020 Dubai, the UAE Government requests approval to continue using “Expo 2020 Dubai” as the official name of the event.

The request of the UAE Government follows a meeting of the Expo 2020 Dubai Steering Committee on 30 March 2020. The Steering Committee, composed of representatives of the BIE, participating countries and Expo 2020 organisers, reviewed with grave concern the major impact of the spread of Covid-19 on global public, social and economic health, and agreed to explore with the BIE the possibility of a one year delay to the opening of Expo 2020.

A final decision on a change of dates can only be made by a two-thirds majority vote of BIE Member States, as stipulated by Article 28 of the 1928 Paris Convention, following a recommendation of the Executive Committee.