Expo 2020 Dubai: 'Our promise still stands,' says minister Reem Al Hashimy in heartfelt message

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Reem Al Hashimy, the director general of Dubai Expo 2020 and Minister of State for International Co-operation, has issued a defiant message after it was confirmed that the event could be postponed until next year.

Dubai's organisers said earlier this week that they were in talks with participating countries and the world fair's governing body, the Bureau International des Expositions, to determine whether it should be run at a new date following the coronavirus pandemic.

And the minister said in a touching video message that "our promise still stands - connecting minds, creating the future".

"As we worked towards October 2020, something terrible happened to our world," she said.

"And so our journey must take a different turn. We must adjust our opening dates for Expo 2020 Dubai, and spend the time now with our friends across the globe, banding together, working together to emerge stronger than ever before.

"When we come together as one, humanity has no limits."

After a virtual meeting of the Expo 2020 steering committee, officials said on Monday that they were exploring a delay of one year for the event.

Billed as the "world’s greatest show", the Expo was expected to welcome 25 million visitors from October 20.

One-hundred and ninety two countries had confirmed their participation in the event which was due to run until April 10, 2021.

However, many countries around the world have been placed into lockdown in an attempt to fight the spread of Covid-19.

As of Wednesday morning, the total number of confirmed cases around the world stood at 859,796 according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The death toll has risen to 42,341, while 178,301 recoveries had been registered.

In the UAE, the infection tally is at 664, with 61 recoveries and six deaths.

The pandemic has led to the postponement of a host major events, such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which was due to take place this summer, and the Euro 2020 football tournament.

An artist's impression of the UAE pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai site. Wam

The Czech Republic Expo 2020 pavilion

The Spanish Expo 2020 pavilion

The Swiss Expo 2020 Pavilion

Philippines 2020 Expo pavilion.  Courtesy: Philippines Expo 2020

The German pavilion. Courtesy: German Pavilion EXPO 2020 Dubai

France pavilion Expo 2020

The Indian pavilion will be a top attraction at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Saudi pavilion at Expo 2020. Courtesy Expo 2020 Dubai

The Omani pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Courtesy: Expo 2020

Updated: April 1, 2020 10:45 AM

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