Expo-led construction complete; pavilions prepare despite COVID-19

Expo 2020 Dubai has convened a virtual Steering Committee meeting with representatives of countries taking part in the 173-day Expo 2020 Dubai to consult on the impact that COVID-19 is having on their preparations for the Expo 2020, which is due to open on schedule on 20 October.

Commenting on the current situation, the UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and director general of the Expo 2020 Dubai, HE Reem Al Hashimy, said: “As hosts of the next World Expo, due to open in seven months, we always knew that 2020 was going to be demanding. What we could not predict is that we would be doing so in the midst of the biggest global health crisis in generations.

HE Al Hashimy added: “These are difficult, uncertain times, which makes it even more heartening to see communities around the world facing this challenge together and to witness the incredible resilience of the human spirit against a menace that does not recognise international borders or timelines.”

Her Excellency also added that the discussion with the Expo 2020 Dubai participants was an opportunity to reassure them on the measures put into place in the UAE, to listen to their issues, and to look for ways that to provide tangible, meaningful support.

“Our immediate priority is the health and well-being of everyone involved in Expo 2020 Dubai, and this will not be compromised. Our monitoring of ongoing developments means we will take all sensible precautions to manage and mitigate risk to all those involved,” HE Al Hashimy added.

Expo 2020 Dubai has confirmed that it has fully applied the latest guidance from the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), the Ministry of Health and Prevention, and the World Health Organization, as well as other relevant bodies.

In addition, Expo 2020 Dubai is closely monitoring ongoing developments and has committed to adjust planned preparations, as changing circumstances may require.

Work continues at Expo 2020 Dubai, where Expo-led construction is complete, and International Participant Pavilions are being completed. Detailed operation plans are being finalised ahead of a series of tests scheduled for later this year.

The chairman of the Steering Committee and the commissioner general of Switzerland, Manuel Salchli, said: “From a construction perspective, all countries are committed to finalising their pavilions on site and will work in close coordination with Expo as they continue their dialogue in the coming weeks and adjust to the changing environment.”

Salchli added: “Never before has the importance of human solidarity and human connectivity been as critical. We are all in this together and are steadfast in delivering an exceptional Expo in the UAE and for the world.”