The Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions, the global umbrella organization charged with choosing venues and overseeing the planning of international fairs, has confirmed that Dubai’s Expo 2020 will not open in October, as had been planned. Instead, it will get underway a year later, in October 2021, with the coronavirus pandemic cited as the reason. Some 11 million people from abroad were projected to attend, but major shutdowns due to the pandemic, including widespread flight cancelations and hotel closures, made that expectation unreasonable. Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates’ primary city-states, has already invested billions in the site. The fair, with representation by 192 countries and territories, was being touted as a platform for highlighting new technologies, as well as business initiatives and cultural events. Local organizers were mulling a postponement as early as March, but the Bureau International des Expositions was to have the last say. In April, its executive committee voted unanimously to endorse postponement. The bureau now notes that while not all member-states have registered their say, the votes of the two-thirds that would be necessary for postponement have been received.
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