Dubai: The UAE has officially requested to postpone the start of the Expo 2020 Dubai until October next year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the body that oversees the world fair said Saturday.
Dubai had hoped to attract some 25 million visits to the multi-billion-dollar, six-month event, which was scheduled to launch October 20 this year.
“The government of the UAE has formally requested the postponement of World Expo 2020 Dubai,” the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions said in a statement.
“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 UAE government also requested approval to continue using Expo 2020 Dubai as the event’s official name.
The BIE said it would hold a virtual meeting on April 21 to discuss “options for a change of dates”.
“The request of the UAE government has been sent 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,” said the statement.
“A final decision on a change of dates can only be made by a two-thirds majority vote of BIE member states.”