In 2019, the world altered beyond recognition, with COVID-19 pushing healthcare systems to the brink, forcing travel restrictions and lockdowns worldwide, and causing the cancellation or delay of almost all major global events.

With many of Expo’s participants significantly impacted by the pandemic, BIE Member States agreed to postpone Expo 2020 Dubai by one year, allowing everyone to focus their efforts on navigating the impact of COVID-19.

Expo 2020 Dubai’s founding premise — to connect minds and create the future - had been given new purpose and taken on even stronger significance, with the pandemic underscoring the power of cooperation across borders and sectors.

The safety and wellbeing of everyone involved was always the highest priority, with Expo’s agile and responsive approach grounded in science and guided by international best practice, in close collaboration with local health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Expo 2020 Dubai COVID-19 Taskforce oversaw the roll-out of a mandatory vaccination programme for staff, opened testing facilities across the site and a 24/7 COVID Helpline, and introduced close contact tracing and other preventative measures – clearly communicating all responses.

As the most significant global gathering to take place since the emergence of the pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai became the blueprint for hosting a mega-event during a global health emergency. For many international visitors, including VIPs and dignitaries, it was their first overseas trip since the start of the pandemic, underscoring the UAE’s reputation as a leading force in the fight against COVID-19.

Expo 2020 will now welcome the world on 1 October 2021