Yesterday, a virtual steering committee meeting was convened by Expo 2020 Dubai featuring representatives from the nations set to take part in the event, which should begin in October, to discuss the impact of coronavirus on preparations.

Expo 2020 Dubai is paying close attention to ongoing developments in the crisis and is intent on making the adjustments necessary to planned preparations if and when circumstances demand it.

The main priority is the health and wellbeing of all those involved in the Expo, says the director general of Expo 2020 Dubai, Reem Al Hashimy, the United Arab Emirates’ Minister of State for International Cooperation.

All sensible precautions will be taken in regard to the management and mitigation of any risk to those involved, and their safety will not be compromised, according to Al Hashimy.

2020 was always expected to be a demanding year with Dubai playing host to the next World Expo, though no one expected it to take place during one of the largest international health crises in several generations.

Al Hashimy admits that these are uncertain and difficult times, which makes it extra heartening to see the international community uniting to face this challenge and to see the resilience of humanity against this global challenge.

The whole point of World Expos is to celebrate humanity’s collective achievements and endeavours, and unity and solidarity are more important than ever in the current circumstances, says Al Hashimy.

The meeting gave the Expo organisers the chance to reassure participants about the measures that the UAE has put in place to deal with the outbreak and to listen to any issues they may have and find ways of offering real, meaningful support.

A wide array of precautionary measures has been taken by the UAE to combat the spread of coronavirus, and the latest guidelines from the World Health Organisation, the Ministry of Health and Prevention, and the Dubai Health Authority have been fully applied by the Expo. 

The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) Secretary General Dimitri Kerkentzes welcomed the initiative of Expo 2020 Dubai, saying that the impact and seriousness of the situation all over the world is impossible to ignore, especially given the inherent international nature of these events.

World Expos have brought people and nations together for nearly 170 years now to celebrate humanity’s ability to collaborate and innovate around themes that address international challenges, Kerkentzes notes.

An international effort from all 192 nations that are set to take part in Expo 2020 Dubai is vital to put on a World Expo under the current conditions, and the BIE will continue to work with the organisers.

The BIE also has faith in the moves that the UAE has made to control the spread of coronavirus and protect everyone involved in Expo 2020 Dubai, according to Kerkentzes.

The pragmatic approach that has been taken by Expo 2020 Dubai gives assistance and reassurance to those who require it and will help the event to be successfully delivered.

Anyone who is planning to attend the World Expo from overseas should take out travel insurance to guard against the financial repercussions of events such as cancelled flights and falling ill while away from home.


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