File picture of Dubai Expo site. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: The World Expo awarding body said on Friday its general assembly had approved a one-year postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai due to difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic, and the event would now start in October 2021.

Earlier this month the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) said that the required consent of two-thirds of its 170 member states to delay the Expo had been surpassed.

The event is a business and cultural gathering that lasts nearly six months and is held every five years.

"While this situation is unprecedented, the response by the Government of the UAE and by our Member States demonstrates the strong bonds that tie us and the shared commitment we have to delivering a truly inclusive World Expo," BIE Secretary General Dimitri S. Kerkentzes said in a statement.

The UAE in March proposed the postponement after participating countries asked for a delay to focus on the novel coronavirus outbreak.