Expo 2020 Dubai’s official commercial partners have voiced their strong support following the agreement to explore postponing the event because of the current global health crisis.
The significant impact of COVID-19 on global public, social and economic health led many International Participants to suggest delaying the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai, while they focus on navigating the escalating situation.
The Expo 2020 Dubai Steering Committee – comprising members of the senior leadership of Expo 2020 and World Expo governing body the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), as well as some International Participants – collectively agreed to explore with the BIE the possibility of delaying the opening.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DP World, Expo 2020 Dubai’s Official Premier Global Trade Partner, said, “DP World is working resolutely to keep trade flowing around the world through the crisis, so the countries in which we operate continue to be supplied with food, medicine and other vital goods. We are doing so by putting the highest priority on the health and safety of our people and communities. We support the proposal to postpone Expo 2020 and DP World looks forward to opening our pavilion, where we will show how keeping trade flowing will help the world continue to recover from the crisis.”
Sergio Maccotta, Senior Vice President, Middle East South for SAP, Expo 2020 Dubai’s Official Premier Innovative Enterprise Software Partner, said: “SAP expresses support for Expo 2020 Dubai and its Steering Committee exploring options with the Bureau International des Expositions to postpone the event by a year and ensure the health and wellbeing of the millions of expected visitors and participants. SAP remains firmly committed as Expo 2020 Dubai’s Official Premier Innovative Enterprise Software Partner and we will continue to co-innovate to deliver personalised experiences for the event.”
Thierry Sabbagh, Managing Director of Nissan Middle East, Expo 2020 Dubai’s Official Premier Automotive Partner, said: “The decision reflects the great sense of global citizenship embodied by Expo 2020 Dubai itself. This proposed delay will be viewed as an opportunity by all partners to come back together even stronger and deliver a truly world-class experience that millions of visitors will be able to celebrate in the true sense of safety, security and friendship that the UAE has always prided itself on.”
Siemens, Expo 2020 Dubai’s Official Premier Infrastructure Digitalisation Partner, stated: “We fully support the Expo 2020 Dubai Steering Committee to explore a postponement of the event. It’s the right decision to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those working on the project, and means the whole world can join together when it opens its doors. We will continue working to create one of the smartest cities in the world.”
Eugene Willemsen, CEO, Africa, Middle East and South Asia at PepsiCo, Expo 2020 Dubai’s Official Premier Beverage and Snack Partner, said: “In light of the tragic circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand and support the Expo 2020 organisers and the steering committee’s decision to explore postponing the event. We remain firmly committed to Expo 2020 Dubai and look forward to helping deliver an exceptional World Expo at the right time. At PepsiCo, we recognise that now, more than ever, it is critical to focus on the fundamental human values that unite us across nations.”
Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Emirates NBD, Expo 2020 Dubai’s Official Premier Banking Partner, said: “Exceptional times call for exceptional leadership. Emirates NBD honours the Expo 2020 Steering Committee’s decision to explore a postponement of the Expo. Our commitment stays strong as we stand in solidarity and unity with the UAE leadership and the Expo team. As the world comes together to collaborate, innovate and cooperate to create sustainable solutions to tackle this global challenge, Emirates NBD pledges to continue to support and protect the UAE community as we navigate these times together.”
Sanjive Khosla, Chief Commercial Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “In these extraordinary times, the irreplaceable work and support of our Official Premier Partners, Official Partners and Official Providers has never been more important to us. Their vital contributions to Expo 2020 cannot be understated. We are grateful for their ongoing support as we continue our journey.”
The BIE has confirmed that a decision will be made by the Executive Committee meeting on 21 April and by two-thirds majority vote of BIE Member States. The BIE will consider a proposed change of dates for Expo 2020 Dubai, beginning 1 October 2021 and running to 31 March 2022, as formally requested by the UAE Government.
Expo 2020 remains steadfast in delivering a World Expo that is true to its founding purpose: to provide a global platform to address shared challenges and seek solutions in the spirit of international cooperation and worldwide solidarity. Such an event, supported by Expo 2020’s official commercial partners and providers, to work towards a brighter future, will be needed more than ever.