Expo 2020 Dubai has been officially postponed until 2021 after a request to move the event was put forward and approved by Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) executive committee in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Votes by BIE member states exceeded the two-thirds majority required for the event to be officially postponed. Expo 2020 Dubai will now take place from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 under its original Expo 2020 Dubai title.
While voting originally began on April 4 with plans to stay open until May 29, within two weeks the two-thirds majority vote had already been achieved.
“We have sought to build over the last 50 years bridges, connections, and partnerships around the world because we believe in genuine collaboration to safeguard the future of all. This swift and overwhelming vote reflects the strength of our international partnerships and truly reflects the positive role the UAE and Dubai play with all countries around the world,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee said.
“This affirmation by the international community of Dubai’s offering and its ability to deliver, further strengthens our commitment to matching ambition with achievement to hosting an event that will capture the world’s imagination, when the time is right,” he added.
With the Expo 2020 infrastructure already 100% complete, many of the country pavilions had broken ground and were under construction. Major UAE-backed pavilions and sites were also nearing completion such as the Opportunity District and Mobility Pavilion which was under construction.
The expo site’s flagship Al Wasl Plaza, which is crowned by Al Wasl Dome , has been completed in addition to the spectacular mashrabiya-inspired welcome portals designed by British architect Asif Khan (which you can now read about in the latest issue of identity).
“In their support for the one-year postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai, Member States of the BIE are giving the world the opportunity to reconvene in 2021, when together, we can address the challenges facing humanity and celebrate the unity and solidarity that strengthen us. With its theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 Dubai will offer the world a unique platform to share the lessons, solutions and ideas for a better tomorrow,” said Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, secretary-general of the BIE.
Expo 2020 Dubai is the first world expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region and the biggest event to be held in the Arab world, welcoming 192 countries from across the globe.