The highly-anticipated Dubai Expo 2020 planned for October this year has been postponed to 2021.
Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions charged with overseeing the planning and venue options for the expo confirmed the shift of dates to next year on Monday, May 4. The coronavirus pandemic was sited as the reason for the postponement.
"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," said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee.
The event was expected to draw around 11-million attendees from all over the world this year, however, due to travel restrictions and widespread flight cancellations, this will not be possible.
Dubai has already invested billions in the expo and the fair was expected to be a prime platform for presenting new technology from 192 countries, as well as creating opportunities for both business and cultural exchange.
Local organisers considered postponing the event as early as March, but the Bureau International des Expositions reaffirmed the decision on Monday.
The executive committee finally reached an agreement late in April with the two-thirds of the votes needed for postponement.
The Expo 2020 will now run from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.