Dubai confirms change in Expo 2020 dates: Oct. 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022

Expo 2020 Dubai retains its name and will remain the MEASA region’s first World Expo and the largest ever in the Arab world

Dubai confirms Expo 2020 delay to Oct. 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022
Expo 2020 Dubai
Dubai confirms Expo 2020 delay to Oct. 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022

Expo 2020 Dubai is gearing up for a year-long postponement. The World Expo, which is touted as the “world’s greatest show” will now run from 1 October, 2021 to 31 March, 2022.

The change in dates was announced after a two-thirds majority of the Bureau International des Expositions’ (BIE) member states voted in favour of postponing the World Expo by a year.

With a BIE General Assembly impossible to stage due to COVID-19 restrictions, the BIE Member States voted remotely on the BIE Executive Committee’s recommendation for a delay as proposed by the UAE Government at the beginning of April and recommended by the BIE Executive Committee on April 21.

While the vote remains open until 29 May, the two-thirds threshold was surpassed within a week of voting opening on 24 April.

The chairman of Dubai Airports, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman and CEO of Emirates Group, and chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said: “We welcome the decision of BIE Member States to support the delay Expo 2020 Dubai by one year.

“We are thankful to Member States for their continued commitment to contributing to a World Expo in Dubai that will play a pivotal role in shaping our post-pandemic world at a time when it will be most needed.

Sheikh Ahmed added: “Over the last 50 years, we have sought to build bridges, connections, and partnerships around the world because we believe in genuine collaboration to safeguard the future of all. This swift and overwhelming vote reflects the strength of our international partnerships and truly reflects the positive role that the UAE and Dubai play with all countries around the world.”

The year-long delay makes a way for participants to safely navigate the impact of COVID-19, and allows the World Expo time to focus on a collective desire for new thinking to identify solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time.


Commenting on the change of dates, Dimitri S Kerkentzes, the secretary general of the BIE, said: “I applaud the swift response by BIE Member States. Their support for the postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai – which will be formally approved on 29 May – is a renewed sign of solidarity, and demonstrates the shared will to work together in 'creating the future’.

Kerkentzes added: “In their support for the one-year postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai, Member States of the BIE are giving the world the opportunity to reconvene in 2021, when together, we can address the challenges facing humanity and celebrate the unity and solidarity that strengthen us.

“With its theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 Dubai will offer the world a unique platform to share the lessons, solutions and ideas for a better tomorrow.”

Expo 2020 Dubai retains its name and remains committed to hosting an exceptional event that will celebrate humanity’s resilience, creativity, culture and innovation – including major technological advances in the fields of medicine and science.

The first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, and largest ever event to take place in the Arab world, Expo 2020 will welcome 192 countries, plus businesses, multilateral organisations and educational establishments.

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