‘The global situation is fast moving’
The highly-anticipated Dubai Expo 2020 could be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
It was announced by organisers the possibility of delaying Expo 2020 is being explored in order to allow the globe to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued on Monday, it was announced the BIE would be liaising with member states and the organisers of Expo 2020 and were looking into “the possibility of a one-year delay to the opening of Expo 2020”.
“A final decision on postponement can only be made by the BIE’s executive committee and the General Assembly,” the statement added.
The issuing of the statement came after a virtual meeting of the Expo 2020 steering committee took place. UAE officials were represented as well as foreign countries that are set to take part.
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Reem Al Hashemy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said the current pandemic is “unpredictable”.
“The global situation is fast moving, and remains unpredictable,” she said. “Over the last several weeks, we have been consulting with key UAE and international stakeholders to review the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our plans and preparations for Expo 2020 Dubai.”
Al Hashemy noted how many nations globally have been “significantly impacted” by coronavirus.
“While they remain firmly committed to Expo 2020, many countries have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and they have therefore expressed a need to postpone the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai by one year, to enable them to overcome this challenge,” she said.
“The UAE and Expo 2020 Dubai have listened.”
In order for the decision to postpone to be decided there is a two-thirds majority vote from the BIE General Assembly required.
The announcement comes after the Tokyo Olympics was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
There has now been 611 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UAE, with 61 people having recovered. There has been five fatalities.
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