DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Dubai’s Expo 2020 world’s fair will be delayed to Oct. 1, 2021, over the new coronavirus pandemic, a Paris-based body behind the events said Monday.
Members of Bureau International des Expositions had been voting on the requested delay for days, with a final tally expected by the end of May.
On Monday, however, the bureau said a required two-thirds of the countries in the organization had voted to approve the delay, meaning it would be granted.
The bureau’s executive committee voted unanimously in April to back the proposal. Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, has bet billions of dollars on the event to rejuvenate its troubled economy.
This skyscraper-studded city won the rights to host the event in 2014. That helped boost Dubai’s crucial real-estate market and had officials hoping for more tourists in this city-state that is home to the world’s busiest airport for international travel.
Now, the pandemic has grounded flights by Dubai’s long-haul carrier Emirates, jeopardized global tourism and caused further panic in a real-estate market already down by a third since the 2014 announcement.