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BIE agrees proposal to postpone Expo 2020 Dubai, final vote by May 29

BIE agrees proposal to postpone Expo 2020 Dubai, final vote by May 29

To confirm the change in dates, the decision will need to receive approval from two-thirds majority of member states of the BIE

The Executive Committee of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the World Expo governing body, has unanimously agreed to propose the postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai to October 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022.

The decision will now be put to a vote within the General Assembly that will be carried out remotely between April 24, 2020 – May 29, 2020.

To confirm the change in dates, the decision will need to be ratified by two-thirds majority of member states of the BIE.

The members of the Executive Committee that agreed to the proposal comprised of delegates of 12 member states elected by the BIE’s General Assembly who met virtually on April 21 to consider the UAE government’s request to change the dates.

The request by the UAE submitted on March 30 was made against the backdrop of the global Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent worldwide travel restrictions that are in effect worldwide.

Read: Expo 2020 Dubai organisers seek one-year delay due to coronavirus

Considering the practical impossibility of holding a General Assembly, member states will be asked to cast their vote remotely by May 29, said a press statement issued by the BIE.

“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,” said Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and director-general of Expo 2020 Dubai.

“Now the official process for agreeing a delay begins, and we look forward to working constructively with BIE Member States, our friends, and partners to confirm the new date of October 1, 2021 when the Expo will open its doors, and the UAE will welcome the world,” added Al Hashimy.

Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, the secretary general of the BIE, stated: “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.”

Meanwhile, Alain Berger, delegate of France and the chairman of the Executive Committee of the BIE added: “The UAE’s willingness to listen to participating countries and its pragmatism to take the necessary steps towards postponement demonstrate yet again its strong commitment to hosting a truly inclusive and inspirational World Expo.

“The Executive Committee of the BIE fully supports the UAE’s request for postponement and recommends that countries around the world reach the same consensus,” added Berger.

The six-month long expo was originally scheduled to start on October 20, 2020 and run until April 10, 2021.

It will be the first expo to be held in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region, and will include pavilions from 192 nations, with 25 million visits expected during the show. Up to 70 per cent of visitors are anticipated to come from outside the UAE, the largest proportion of international visitors in the 169-year history of World Expos.

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