BIE officially approves Expo 2020 Dubai's one-year postponement

Bureau International des Expositions said that the World Fair will keep the name "Expo 2020 Dubai" despite date change

Expo 2020 Dubai will run from 1 October, 2021 to 31 March, 2022.
CW Archives/ Expo 2020 Dubai
Expo 2020 Dubai will run from 1 October, 2021 to 31 March, 2022.

The General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) has formally approved the year-long postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai, touted as the — world’s greatest show — with the dates having officially changed to 1 October, 2021 to 31 March, 2022.

BIE, which is the World Expos’ governing body, said in a statement on 29 May, 2020 that the global event, which will witness participation from 192 countries, will keep the name “Expo 2020 Dubai”, despite the date change.

Speaking on the formal announcement of the postponement, the Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, said: “I welcome this resounding expression of support shown by the international community to postpone Expo 2020 Dubai.

“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.”

Kerkentzes added: “The difficulties raised by the COVID-19 pandemic illustrate the importance of sharing solutions and co-ordinating our actions. The time we spend apart leads us to reflect on the importance of being together, and reminds us that even in the digital age, shared experiences are the essence of our humanity.

“The world is now more than ever looking forward to Expo 2020 Dubai to connect, reflect, and celebrate the future.”


On 30 March this year, Expo 2020 Dubai's Steering Committee met virtually, and collectively agreed to explore with the BIE the possibility of a one-year delay to the opening of the World Expo, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on global public, social, and economic health.

Following which, on 5 April the UAE government officially requested the postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai to October 2021 and until 31 March 2022.

Later, on 21 April, the Executive Committee of the BIE commenced the process of agreeing a new date for Expo 2020 Dubai, when Members of the Committee – delegates of 12 Member States elected by the BIE’s General Assembly – met virtually to examine the date change requested by the UAE Government.

According to BIE rules, in order to change the date of an Expo the support of a two-thirds majority vote from Member States is required. Hence it was decided that the General Assembly would be called upon to vote on the Executive Committee’s recommendation.

Voting was carried out remotely between 24 April and 29 May.

However, on 4 May, BIE announced that it was set to approve the one-year postponement of the World Expo — 1 October 2021 to 31 March, 2022 — after the required two-thirds majority vote from the General Assembly had surpassed.

In light of the postponement, Construction Week launched its YouTube Series called — Expo Reaction — to know from participating nations what are their thoughts on the one-year delay and how are they preparing for the opening in October 2021.

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