Expo 2020 Dubai to be postponed in show of solidarity and unity

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The newly built Expo 2020 site. The newly built Expo 2020 site.

Expo 2020 Dubai is almost certain to be postponed after organisers said they wanted to show ‘solidarity’ with participating countries who were focused on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement came after a meeting between officials from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and foreign countries participating in the almost half-year-long event that was due to begin in October.

The event, which was expected to attract 11 million visitors, is likely to be put back a year, although a final decision will not be made until June by member states of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions, which awards the event.

“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,” event director general Reem al-Hashimy said in a statement.

“The UAE and Expo 2020 Dubai have listened. And in the spirit of solidarity and unity, we supported the proposal to explore a one-year postponement at today’s Steering Committee meeting.”

World Expo is held every five years and is a showpiece of culture, business and technology featuring pavilions from 192 countries. Recent editions have been held in Milan (2015) and Shanghai (2010), Aichi (2005) and Hannover (2000.

Expo’s typically have a legacy building. For the UAE, this will be the Dubai Exhibition Centre, which has been purpose-built for the event.


The 45,000 sqm venue will include a theatre and auditorium, spread across two campuses, several multi-purpose halls, four suites and 24 meeting rooms, all of which are customisable to suit individual events.

Other features include integrated technology such as audio, visual and telecommunication facilities; and on-site catering facilities.

Other legacy constructions that were built for the sole purpose of hosting the World Expo include Paris’ Eiffel Tower, London’s Crystal Palace and Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building.

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.

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