COVID-19 update
Al Wasl dome
calendar 05 May 2020

Global support for Expo postponement

Expo 2020 stakeholders have shown solidarity and support for one-year delay as BIE Member States vote to confirm 1 October 2021 start date

Expo 2020 Dubai’s official commercial partners, participating nations and international bodies have voiced their strong support after a two-thirds majority of Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) Member States voted in favour of postponing the World Expo by one year.

Expo 2020 will now run from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, a delay that allows all participants to safely navigate the impact of COVID-19, and allows the World Expo to focus on a collective desire for new thinking to identify solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time.

With a BIE General Assembly impossible to stage due to COVID-19 restrictions, Member States voted remotely on the BIE Executive Committee’s recommendation in April for a delay as had been requested by the UAE Government and the Expo 2020 Steering Committee.

While the vote remained open until 29 May, the two-thirds threshold was surpassed within a week of voting opening on 24 April.

Below is a sample of the unanimous support offered to Expo 2020 by a cross-section of its stakeholders from around the world.

Gerardo Canta, Senior Managing Director at Accenture in the Middle East, said: “Ensuring a healthy and safe world community is a responsibility we all share. Within this context, and as an Official Premier partner, Accenture supports the World Expo in joining nations and organizations around the world to ensure the world’s wellbeing by putting visitor welfare first. We look forward to helping deliver a powerful and relevant event that connects minds towards building a brighter future.”

Shukri Eid, Managing Director, Cisco Gulf Region, said: “Looking ahead, the re-scheduling of Expo 2020 Dubai is an opportunity for us to raise the bar higher than before. We look forward to continuing to power the possible with additional solutions, which will further cement the UAE’s resilient economy and steer the nation towards a more innovative and sustainable future.”

“We support the decision to postpone Expo 2020 and DP World looks forward to opening our pavilion in 2021 where we will show how keeping trade flowing will help the world continue to recover from the crisis.” added Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DP World, Premier Global Trade Partner of Expo 2020.

“As the Official Banking Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, Emirates NBD welcomes and supports the new dates as voted by the BIE Member States,” said Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Emirates NBD. “The UAE leadership has demonstrated exceptional vision, compassion and foresight through this challenging time to ensure that our nation remains resilient, protected and stronger than ever before. We continue to pledge our commitment as we stand in solidarity and unity with the UAE leadership and the Expo team and prepare towards a stronger, brighter future for all.”

“In the spirit of solidarity and optimism, together we will overcome the challenges of the current situation and use this as an opportunity to make the largest ever event staged in the Arab world an even greater success for the UAE and a meaningful legacy for generations to come,” a spokesperson for Etisalat, Official Telecommunication and Digital Services Partner, told Expo.

“As our world faces unfamiliar challenges, the theme of Expo 2020 Dubai ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ takes a new meaning,” added Thierry Sabbagh, Managing Director of Nissan Middle East. “We connect as partners to build a new, and even better future, than the one we initially set out to create together. We at Nissan are proud to continue our partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai to deliver, not only a world-class event worth looking forward to, but a promising outlook for the millions of people involved.”

Eugene Willemsen, CEO, Africa, Middle East and South Asia at PepsiCo, said: “In light of the tragic circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, we support the new dates as voted by the BIE Member States and welcome our fans to Expo 2020 on 1 October 2021. 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 recognize that now, more than ever, it is critical to focus on the fundamental human values that unite us across nations.”

“The impact of COVID-19 shows the world must collaborate across borders, and the Bureau International des Expositions announcement of Expo 2020 Dubai’s new opening dates of 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 is a perfect example of the spirit of solidarity and global optimism,” noted Sergio Maccotta, Senior Vice President, Middle East South, SAP.

Dr Roland Busch, Deputy CEO, CTO, CHRO and Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG, said: “Fully support the decision to postpone Expo 2020 Dubai. Our common focus must now be on tackling the global pandemic. In a year’s time we will be in a stronger position to come together with a shared vision for a more resilient, sustainable future. Siemens will continue to work on creating one of the world’s smartest cities and I look forward to seeing you there in 2021.”

His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), added: “Postponing Expo 2020 Dubai for one year underpins the UAE’s solidarity and collaboration with the global community amid the ongoing exceptional circumstances. And we do this with a positive attitude to ensure a better future for humankind. As the Official Sustainable Energy Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, DEWA is applying all its efforts, experience, and capabilities so Expo 2020 Dubai will achieve the desired success that befits the UAE. Dubai will host the best Expo in the history of World Expos, thanks to the vision and guidance of our wise leadership and the concerted efforts of all the nation’s organisations. We are confident that Expo 2020 Dubai will be an international hub that contributes to developing innovative solutions to the various challenges facing the world for a brighter future, for generations to come. ”

“We believe that the new event date will mark the beginning of a new post-pandemic world, redefining the global approach to sustainability and allowing Dulsco to outline new sustainability methods and innovations to better serve Expo 2020’s objectives and deliver one of the most sustainable World Expos ever,” said David Stockton, CEO at Dulsco.

ENOC Group CEO, Saif Humaid Al Falasi, said: “As the official Integrated Energy Partner of Expo Dubai 2020, we fully support the decision to postpone the event as it underlines the UAE Government’s commitment to the safety and well-being of all citizens and visitors. As a key partner of the event, we will work closely with the organising committee to contribute to an awe-inspiring event in 2021.”

“The safety of our employees, customers and the general public continues to be our first priority as we help customers with business continuity, address complexity and help meet new demands with the flexibility of our smart global logistics network,” a UPS spokesperson said. “It is a shared priority for safety that enables us to applaud the organizers of Expo 2020 Dubai, the Bureau International des Expositions, and its member states, for making the decision to postpone Expo 2020. UPS plans to support new scheduling needs and continue in its capacity as Official Logistics Partner to help deliver a successful undertaking to bring the world to Dubai – and Dubai to the world.”

Yuichi Ishizuka, President and CEO, Canon Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said: “As the Official Printing and Imaging Provider of Expo 2020 Dubai, we are aligned with and fully support the decision on the part of the BIE Member States to postpone Expo 2020 Dubai to 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 as we stand in solidarity with the UAE and the rest of the world in the fight against this global pandemic. We remain optimistic about the future and look forward to our role as the first ever exclusive printing and imaging provider for a World Expo, where we will leverage our expertise developed over 80 years in the business, supporting all imagery and printing needs, helping deliver a truly incredible experience for participants and visitors alike.”

“As the Official Cybersecurity Provider, Digital14 is committed to ensuring Expo 2020 is protected through innovative cybersecurity executions and new technologies to safeguard the experience of its visitors and participants. We will continue to support this global event in every step of their safety and security requirements,” noted Elham Al Qasim, CEO of Digital14.

Sérgio Segóvia, Commissioner General of Brazil at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Our path hasn’t changed course; it is just a bit longer. The World Expo in Dubai will still be an amazing event that brings out the best of our humanity, and Brazil wholeheartedly supports the decision to seek a postponement until 2021.”

“We wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Expo 2020 organisers and the UAE Government for the immense support to the Malawi organising team. We look forward to joining the world during the Expo in celebrating the very best of innovations, inventions, culture,” added Clement Kumbemba, Commissioner General of Malawi to Expo 2020 Dubai.

Dr. Ahmed Maghawry Diab, Commissioner General of Egypt at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Egypt appreciates the efforts undertaken by the UAE Government and the BIE to convene Expo 2020 Dubai. Egypt is committed to a successful event as much as it is committed to all actions taken or to be agreed upon to ensure the safety of all international and domestic visitors.”

“Supporting the 12-month postponement decision of the opening of Expo, Italy is looking forward to working together with the Expo organisers and international participants in order to make it an even more successful event than imagined so far,” commented Paolo Glisenti, Commissioner General of Italy at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Fahad Al Girgawi, CEO of the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), said: “We confirm that Dubai FDI will participate in Expo 2020, with its new opening date of 1 October 2021. We are ready to dedicate our relevant team to support its efforts to highlight Dubai as a global destination. It is our deep belief that, together, our efforts will attract investment to Dubai’s business-friendly environment.”

“This postponement will give Expo 2020 Dubai participants more time to innovate and work towards an even better and more meaningful experience that will amaze and engage all visitors,” added His Excellency Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares. “Today, we are looking forward not just for the world’s greatest show, but to the world’s greatest show of solidarity and community.”

Expo 2020 Dubai retains its name and remains committed to hosting an exceptional event that will celebrate humanity’s resilience, creativity, culture and innovation – including major technological advances in the fields of medicine and science.

The first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, and largest ever event to take place in the Arab world, Expo 2020 will welcome 192 countries, plus businesses, multilateral organisations and educational establishments.