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A world away: Dubai Expo 2020 faces a year delay

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Deserted: Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road is free of traffic as citizens are encouraged to stay home. Photo: Reuters/Satish Kumar

Deserted: Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road is free of traffic as citizens are encouraged to stay home. Photo: Reuters/Satish Kumar

REUTERS

Deserted: Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road is free of traffic as citizens are encouraged to stay home. Photo: Reuters/Satish Kumar

Expo 2020 Dubai organisers are expected to discuss a possible opening delay of up to a year to the modern-day World Fair due to the global coronavirus pandemic, several countries' officials said.

A year-long postponement is one of several options to be discussed on an organisers' conference call next week. The final decision would have to be made by member states of the International Bureau of Expositions, which awards the event.

Government officials and business leaders in Dubai have for years touted the showcase event as a potential bonanza for the emirate, spending billions building hotels and facilities in expectation of millions of visitors.

But the spread of the virus has led the United Arab Emirates to shut airports to passenger traffic after reporting 333 cases, including two fatalities.

Bloomberg

Irish Independent