Udayavni Special

Dubai wins tentative approval to delay its Expo 2020 to 2021


PTI, Apr 21, 2020, 9:03 PM IST

Dubai: A world body on Tuesday tentatively approved Dubai’s request to move its Expo 2020 world’s fair to next year over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions’ executive committee said its member states will vote on the proposal to move the event to October 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. It expects a final vote count by May 29.

The proposal requires a two-thirds approval, but given the disruption caused by the virus worldwide, it appears likely to easily pass. The bureau’s executive committee voted unanimously to back the proposal.

I am confident 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, bureau secretary-general Dimitri S. Kerkentzes said in a statement.

Dubai, a sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates, has bet billions of dollars on the event to rejuvenate its troubled economy. This skyscraper-studded city won the rights to host the event in 2014. That helped boost Dubai’s crucial real-estate market and had officials hoping for more tourists in this city-state that is home to the world’s busiest airport for international travel.

Now, the pandemic has grounded flights by Dubai’s long-haul carrier Emirates, jeopardized global tourism and caused further panic in a real-estate market already down by a third since the 2014 announcement.

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