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The Government of the United Arab Emirates officially requested, by letter to the Secretary General of the International Bureau of Exhibitions (BIE), Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, the postponement of the opening date of the Universal Exhibition, Expo 2020 Dubai.

In his letter, H.A. Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, expresses the wish, in solidarity with the participating countries, to postpone the next Universal Exhibition in view of the context of the Covid-19 and following in-depth discussions by the Bureau of the College of Commissioners with the Organisers and the IEO. Following consultations with BIE, participating countries and other stakeholders, the United Arab Emirates is proposing that Expo 2020 Dubai take place from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. The letter further states that in the event that Member States approve this date change, the Government of the United Arab Emirates requests permission to continue using “Expo 2020 Dubai” as the official name of the event.

This request from the Government of the United Arab Emirates follows a virtual meeting of the Bureau of the College of Commissioners of Expo 2020 Dubai on 30 March. The Bureau of the College of Commissioners, made up of representatives from BIE, participating countries and Expo 2020 Organisers, examined the consequences of the spread of Covid-19 on the general public and global social and economic health and collectively agreed to discuss with the BIE the possibility of postponing the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai by one year.

A final decision on a change of dates may only be taken by a two-thirds majority vote of the Member States of the Organization, in accordance with Article 28 of the Paris Convention of 1928 and after the recommendation of the Executive Committee.

Source: Bureau International des Expositions

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