Bahrain cancels air show amid pandemic

Bahrain cancels air show amid pandemic
Bahrain cancels air show amid pandemic

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Bahrain’s biennial air show has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected commercial events, large gatherings, conferences and exhibitions around the world.

The Bahrain International Air Show, which was set to take place from November 18 to 20 was cancelled by its Supreme Organising Committee “due to the ongoing challenges and travel restrictions around the world”, organisers said in a statement posted on the show's website.

The next edition of the airshow is expected to take place in 2022.

The show attracted around $5 billion (Dh18.35bn) worth of commitments and orders in 2018, when it drew 54,000 visitors.

Bahrain, one of the first among the GCC nations to impose movement restrictions, has 51,113 cases of coronavirus, with 189 deaths as of Saturday, according to Worldometer, which tracks the pandemic. The country suspended air travel early on as infections spread following the return of pilgrims from the Iranian city of Qom.

Covid-19 infections globally have reached close to 25 million, with 841,692 fatalities registered from the virus.

Bahrain has also postponed other industry events, such as the Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference organised by the London-based consultancy Facts Global Energy. The organisers said the conference originally scheduled for March 30 and 31 will now be held on November 16 and 17, 2020. Another energy event, GEO 2020, that was scheduled to run from March 16 to 19 will now be held from October 4 to 7, 2021.

The pandemic, which has disrupted global trade, supply chains and the travel industry, has also affected other large gatherings across various industries.

Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, the UAE's flagship energy industry event, will be held virtually this year. The annual trade show attracts the world’s leading chief executives, government leaders and policymakers and is one of the largest energy events in the world. The organisers said some elements of conference will be held virtually from November 9 to 12, following a directive from the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi.

Many global events have also shifted to virtual format. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank held their annual spring meetings – typically conducted in mid-April – online this year. Opec has also conducted most of its ministerial meetings online.

Updated: August 29, 2020 05:52 PM

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