The Universal Exhibition that was due to start in Dubai on October 20 was officially postponed to 2021, after two thirds of the countries that make up the International Exhibition Office (BIE) spoke in favor of this delay requested by the organizing country.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Arab Emirates requested that the Expo be held between October 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, a resolution that had also been endorsed by the Executive Committee, made up of twelve countries .
Although the 170 member countries of the BIE have until May 29 to pronounce themselves through an electronic vote, the body reported on Monday that more than two-thirds of them have already favored the delay, which is the necessary quorum .
For this reason, the BIE advanced in a statement that “the delay” of the Expo “will be approved.”
With the contest “Connect the spirits, build the future”, Dubai expects to receive 25 million visitors, 11 million of them foreigners, and earn an income of about 30,000 million euros (about 32,600 million dollars).
In the image of what happened with the Tokyo Olympics, Emirates has requested that, despite the delay, the name “Expo 2020 Dubai” be maintained.
On April 21, the EIB Secretary General, Dimitri Kerkentzes, was convinced that with the new dates, the Expo will fulfill its role of “uniting collective efforts with the shared objective of the progress of humanity”.
The Expo – he added – will be “the best platform to build, with optimism and renewed hope, a better and more promising future”.
It is not the first time that dates have had to be changed. In 1937, the Universal Exposition in Paris opened several months late. Haiti’s 1949 also had to wait several months to inaugurate its international part. And the one in Rome in 1942 was suspended despite the fact that a pavilion entirely dedicated to Benito Mussolini had already been built.
The dates were also modified in that of Brussels in 1958 and that of Philadelphia (USA) in 1976 was canceled, while Moscow ceded the 1967 edition to Montreal (Canada) and Chicago (USA) that of 1992. to Seville (Spain).