Dubai Expo 2020 meets to consider postponement

By AFP

The United Arab Emirates has announced 570 cases of coronavirus, and three deaths.

Dubai 350x210

CORONAVIRUS DUBAI EXPO POSTPONED

WORLD: Stakeholders in Expo 2020, a multi-billion-dollar global trade fair set to launch in Dubai in October, are to hold talks Monday on a possible postponement over the coronavirus pandemic.

Dubai, the glitzy city-state which is part of the United Arab Emirates, had hoped to attract some 25 million visitors to the six-month event and many of its economic forecasts are pinned to the mammoth gathering. 

Dubai has little of the oil riches of neighbouring emirates like Abu Dhabi, and its vital property, tourism and trade sectors had already been badly weakened in recent years. 

  picture shows the closed compound of the ubai all amid the 19 coronavirus pandemic on arch 23 2020 the nited rab mirates hoto by iuseppe   A picture shows the closed compound of the Dubai Mall amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic on March 23, 2020 the United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

 

Expectations that the Expo will deliver a much-needed economic shot in the arm could be dashed by a postponement.

"We are regularly reviewing plans and preparations in line with guidance from UAE and international stakeholders," an Expo 2020 Dubai spokesman told AFP, adding that the event's Steering Committee would meet Monday.

The committee is made up of Expo organisers together with participating countries and the governing body the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) which awards the event.

"Any decision on the World Expo needs to be a collaborative one that is made with the participants and the BIE, as well as other stakeholders," the spokesman said.

"We remain committed to hosting a World Expo that we all envisioned, to showcase the best examples of collaboration, innovation and cooperation from around the world." 

 picture taken on arch 24 2020 shows the skyline of ubai in the nited rab mirates with a view of urj l rab  and urj halifa  the worlds tallest building hoto by    A picture taken on March 24, 2020, shows the skyline of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, with a view of Burj Al Arab (R) and Burj Khalifa (L), the world's tallest building. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP)

 

Organisers are considering an opening delay of up to a year, Bloomberg News has cited unnamed sources as saying. Tokyo 2020 Olympics organisers have already said they will delay the summer Games until next year.

his picture taken on arch 20 2020 shows people sunbathing in the area of the umeirah each residence in ubai near the in ubai ubai ye ferris wheel despite fears of the spread of 19 coronavirus disease in the ulf region   series of unprecedented shutdowns to counter the fastspreading coronavirus have impacted air travel closing restaurants and cinemas and shutting down government and business offices in some ulf states hoto by iuseppe   This picture taken on March 20, 2020 shows people sunbathing in the area of the Jumeirah Beach residence in Dubai, near the 'Ain Dubai' (Dubai Eye) ferris wheel, despite fears of the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus disease in the Gulf region. - A series of unprecedented shutdowns to counter the fast-spreading coronavirus have impacted air travel, closing restaurants and cinemas and shutting down government and business offices in some Gulf states. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

 

A source familiar with the Expo discussions said Monday's meeting would canvas a "range of options" with the objective of making a recommendation to the BIE, which will then take a vote among its general assembly.

Dubai, known for hosting hundreds of conferences annually, has scrapped a string of cultural and entertainment events in recent weeks over the spread of the deadly disease.

The United Arab Emirates has announced 570 cases of coronavirus, and three deaths. It has enforced extensive lockdown measures to cur the spread of the disease including an ongoing nighttime curfew.