Expo 2020 Dubai could be moved to next year

Published: 29 March 2020 - 6:45 a.m.

Organisers of Expo 2020 Dubai are expected to hold discussions this coming week on possible rearrangements for the event, one of which is postponing Expo 2020 until next year.

According to sister publication Arabian Business, the conference call has been arranged in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the impact it has on international travel and event planning. The potential year-long pause of ‘The World’s Greatest Show’ is one of a number of options, with organisers not yet ruling out the scheduled October 2020 start.

Any final decision would have to be made by member states of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), which awards the event. A spokesman for the BIE said the steering committee meeting would “reassess and adjust planned preparations,” adding that a change of date requires a two-thirds majority vote from its members.

Earlier in March organisers of the event issued a statement urging that the health and wellbeing of visitors is paramount and that those behind Expo 2020 are continuously monitoring the developments of COVID-19. The statement said: "Expo 2020 Dubai is closely monitoring ongoing developments and taking all sensible precautions to manage and mitigate the risk to everyone involved in the Expo."

Named ‘The World’s Greatest Show’, Expo 2020 is planned to take place from October 20 2020 to April 10 2021, expecting to see more than 25 million visitors, 70% of which will be from outside the UAE.

According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Situation Report released on March 28, the UAE has 405 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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