DUBAI, UAE - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has formally requested the postponement of World Expo 2020 Dubai.
The global exposition was due to start in October this year, and run through until March 2021.
In a letter addressed to Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, the Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of the UAE, has requested the postponement of the World Expo.
The official said the request follows 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.
After consulting the BIE, participating countries and key stakeholders, the UAE says it has proposed 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 as the new dates for Expo 2020 Dubai.
Despite the time change, the Dubai organizers say they will continue to promote the event as Expo 2020 Dubai.
The Expo 2020 Dubai Steering Committee met 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," an official statement released by the BIE on Saturday said.
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. It is not known when the vote will be taken.