Expo 2020 Dubai is gearing up to help shape a post-pandemic world and create a better future for all after a two-thirds majority of Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) Member States voted in favour of postponing the next World Expo by one year.


The global mega event will now run from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, a delay that allows all participants to safely navigate the impact of COVID-19, and allows the World Expo to focus on a collective desire for new thinking to identify solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time.


His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group, and Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, said: “We welcome the decision of BIE Member States to support the delay Expo 2020 Dubai by one year. We are thankful to Member States for their continued commitment to contributing to a World Expo in Dubai that will play a pivotal role in shaping our post-pandemic world at a time when it will be most needed.


“Over the last 50 years, we have sought to build bridges, connections, and partnerships around the world because we believe in genuine collaboration to safeguard the future of all. This swift and overwhelming vote reflects the strength of our international partnerships and truly reflects the positive role the UAE and Dubai play with all countries around the world.


“This affirmation by the international community of Dubai’s offering and its ability to deliver, further strengthens our commitment to matching ambition with achievement to hosting an event that will capture the world’s imagination, when the time is right.”


With a BIE General Assembly impossible to stage due to COVID-19 restrictions, Member States voted remotely on the BIE Executive Committee’s recommendation for a delay as proposed by the UAE Government at the beginning of April and recommended by the BIE Executive Committee on April 21. While the vote remains open until 29 May, the two-thirds threshold was surpassed within a week of voting opening on 24 April.


Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the BIE, said: “I applaud the swift response by BIE Member States. Their support for the postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai – which will be formally approved on 29 May – is a renewed sign of solidarity, and demonstrates the shared will to work together in 'creating the future'.


“In their support for the one-year postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai, Member States of the BIE are giving the world the opportunity to reconvene in 2021, when together, we can address the challenges facing humanity and celebrate the unity and solidarity that strengthen us. With its theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 Dubai will offer the world a unique platform to share the lessons, solutions and ideas for a better tomorrow.”


Expo 2020 Dubai retains its name and remains committed to hosting an exceptional event that will celebrate humanity’s resilience, creativity, culture and innovation – including major technological advances in the fields of medicine and science.


The first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, and largest ever event to take place in the Arab world, Expo 2020 will welcome 192 countries, plus businesses, multilateral organisations and educational establishments.


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Apr.28 -- His Highness Helal Al Marri, Director General of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce, discusses his plans for getting Dubai reopened after being locked down due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Dubai hopes to reopen for tourists at the beginning of July, after halting most arrivals last month to contain the coronavirus pandemic. The process will be gradual and could be delayed until September, depending on global trends, Helal Al Marri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Tuesday.


“Many countries remain closed and it’s more about the bilateral discussions,” Al Marri said. “Is it going to be July when things start slowly opening up? Is it going to be September? We just need to make sure we’re ready if things come earlier than expected.”


Dubai, which spent years turning itself into the Middle East’s main business and tourism hub, attracts millions of visitors annually thanks to its beaches, luxury hotels and high-end malls.

Last week the government announced it would ease a strict lockdown and allow some commercial and transport activities to restart. The United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a member, has reported around 10,800 cases of Covid-19. Dubai received 16.7 million tourists last year, according to official estimates. India, Saudi Arabia and the U.K. have been the emirate’s most important markets for years, though the number of Chinese visitors is climbing rapidly.


While the pandemic has driven tourist arrivals “to zero,” the industry will bounce back and evolve to focus more on “health and hygiene,” Al Marri said.


Dubai: Residents will be allowed to move without a permit from 6am to 10pm, authorities announced on Thursday.

In line with the decisions of the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management headed by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has announced a partial reduction in the restrictions on movement in the emirate starting from Friday 24 April. The move, which coincides with the start of Ramadan, allows increased freedom of movement, while ensuring the continuation of strict precautionary and preventive measures. The Committee has also outlined a new set of guidelines on movement and a list of exempted commercial activities and vital sectors.

Reduced Restrictions on Movement for the General Public

Individuals will be able to leave their homes between 6.00 am and 10.00 pm without a permit. The public will be required to strictly follow precautionary measures which include maintaining physical distance from others as per guidelines and wearing a face mask. Those who do not wear a mask will be subject to a fine of AED1,000.

Exercising outside the home

Members of the public are allowed to exercise outside their homes provided they do not leave their area of residence. They can undertake activities such as walking, running or cycling for 1-2 hours each time. Only a maximum of three persons can exercise at the same time. Individuals must follow preventive measures including ensuring two-metre distance from other individuals and wearing face masks.


Family Visits

Considering the advent of Ramadan and the social customs and traditions surrounding the Holy Month, members of the public are permitted to visit first and second degree relatives. Gatherings should be restricted to not more than five people. However, visiting high-risk individuals (individuals above 60 years and those with underlying medical conditions) should be avoided. It is prohibited to hold gatherings in public or private places.

Ramadan tents and Majlises are not allowed within homes and in public places.


Shopping malls and commercial outlets

• Shopping malls, markets and commercial outlets will be open daily to the public from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Furthermore, restaurants and shops are allowed to operate at a maximum of 30 percent capacity at the shopping malls.

• Malls and retail outlets are not allowed to hold entertainment events to avoid congestion and crowding.

• There will be no valet parking at malls and restaurants. The first hour of parking in shopping malls will be free.

• Only 25% of the parking spaces will be open in order to reduce overcrowding in malls. The public should visit a mall only when absolutely necessary.

• Sterilisation operations will continue inside malls. Visitors will be subject to temperature checks at entrances and will be required to wear masks as a condition for entering a mall. Malls are also required to make sterilisers widely available to ensure the highest level of protection for visitors and workers.

• All shopping malls will have a medical isolation room for emergency purposes in case someone in the mall is suspected to be infected with the virus.

• Individuals above the age of 60 and children between three and 12 years of age will not be allowed to enter malls.

• As part of a new mandatory policy, purchases can be returned or exchanged at all stores and outlets only of there is a defect.

• Malls and outlets are encouraged to use smart and electronic payment methods and avoid the use of cash.


Restaurants and Cafes

• Restaurants and cafés are allowed to operate normally but are not permitted to serve shisha and buffet. Dine-in customers are allowed but should occupy only a maximum of 30% of the outlet’s capacity.

• A two-metre physical distance should be strictly maintained between individuals. All diners and staff should wear masks.

• Only single-use cutlery can be used at restaurants and cafes.

• Restaurants are allowed to provide food delivery services between 10.00 pm and 6.00 am.

• Services offered at salons for males and females will be restricted to hair and nail services. Customers can be received only by prior appointment and all preventive and health measures should be strictly observed.


Public Transport

• Public transport services, including Dubai metro services, will be resumed from Sunday 26 April. The normal tariff system will be reintroduced. Precautionary measures will continue to be followed and there will be specific guidelines for passengers.

• Red and green line metro services will operate between 7.00 am and 11.00 pm.

• Preventive measures should be strictly followed by all passengers and staff in metros, taxis and buses and at public transport stations including maintaining physical distance and wearing face masks.

• Only two passengers are allowed in one taxi.

• Water transport, tram, limousine, and car sharing services will continue to be suspended.


Administrative offices for companies and institutions

• Employees are allowed to work in offices only if it is absolutely necessary. Their numbers should not exceed 30% of the total workforce. The rest of the workforce can continue working remotely from home. Companies should constantly monitor the number of employees and visitors entering and leaving the workplace every day.

• Meetings should be held at the office only if it is absolutely necessary. Attendees should not exceed five people and each person should maintain a two-metre physical distance from others.

• Daily sterilisation of the workplace is mandatory and employees and visitors should be provided with sanitisers at all times. Everyone is required to wear face masks when at the workplace.


General guidelines

• Individuals are prohibited from distributing food except through mass distribution initiatives organised under the supervision of licensed charity organisations and relevant authorities.

• Individuals are advised not to share food with family members living in different homes. If food needs to be shared with relatives or friends living in the same area, it should be transported in sealed containers.

• Reopening of mosques has been postponed since close proximity between worshippers can pose risks of infection. Group prayers are not authorised to be held in public places and mosques. Group prayers and Taraweeh prayers are permitted at home but the worshippers must be from the same family, residing in the house.

• Individuals who step out of their homes for any purpose must wear a face mask and avoid touching any surfaces or their face. They must also use hand sanitisers and wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

• Seniors and people with chronic diseases or any illness are not allowed to leave the house and must avoid going to public places to ensure their safety.

• Domestic workers are prohibited from meeting anyone outside the home or receiving food from unknown sources. They should be provided with protective gear if they need to interact with people outside the house. They must also be guided on precautionary measures to be followed when receiving deliveries of parcels or goods (including disinfecting the packaging and using gloves).


Places that are exempted from restrictions from 10pm to 6am:

  • Malls and shopping centres

  • Retail shops

  • Open markets

  • Pharmacies

  • Money exchange houses

  • Cafes and restaurants (no buffet or sheesha cafes)

  • Food services

  • Delivery

  • Social Services

  • Laundry

  • Beauty salons for men and women

  • Medical facilities

  • Import offices

  • Manufacturers of medical equipments

  • Factories

  • Water and electricity

  • Communication

  • Media

  • Ports, airports, and airlines

  • Security (army, police....)

  • Public transport

  • Construction

  • Hotels

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