BIE General Assembly approves Expo 2020 Dubai date change

Expo 2020 Dubai will officially take place between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022. The decision was ratified by the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris, which had met to approve the one-year postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai.

The event will keep the name ‘Expo 2020 Dubai’.

The Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)had requested a change in dates of Expo 2020 Dubai following a meeting of the Expo 2020 Dubai Steering Committee in which participating countries had requested a postponement due to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

BIE regulations meant the request had to be formally examined by the Executive Committee of the BIE, which on 21 April proposed the postponement to the General Assembly. In accordance with the BIE Convention, the change in dates required a two-thirds majority vote of Member States for the change of dates to take effect. The 29 May decision of the General Assembly gave that final assent.

Voting on the postponement was carried out remotely by the government-appointed delegates of the BIE’s 170 member states and the two-thirds majority in favour of the postponement was reached as early as 4 May. The decision was formally adopted when voting closed on 29 May at 6pm (Paris time), however.

Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, the Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), welcomed what he called a “resounding expression of support shown by the international

community to postpone Expo 2020 Dubai. While this situation is unprecedented, the response by the Government of the UAE and by our member states demonstrates the strong bonds that tie us and the shared commitment we have to delivering a truly inclusive World Expo.

“The difficulties raised by the Covid-19 pandemic illustrate the importance of sharing solutions and co-ordinating our actions. The time we spend apart leads us to reflect on the importance of being together, and reminds us that even in the digital age, shared experiences are the essence of our humanity. The world is now more than ever looking forward to Expo 2020 Dubai to connect, reflect and celebrate the future.”


The BIE oversees four types of international exhibitions: World Expos (officially known as International Registered Exhibitions), Specialised Expos, (officially known as International Recognised Exhibitions), Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano. Expos are global events centred around a theme addressing fundamental challenges faced by humanity.