The organisers of Expo 2020 Dubai have postponed the mega event for a year because of the ‘fast-moving and unpredictable’ situation caused by coronavirus
Expo 2020 Dubai said it was supporting a recommendation by its steering committee to delay the festival, which originally was due to open in October and run till the following April.
UK artist and stage designer Es Devlin is creating the UK’s showcase pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, while Foster + Partners and Grimshaw are delivering centrepiece pavilions, focusing on mobility and sustainability respectively.
Asif Khan completed a trio of seven-storey gateways for the site earlier this year and also designed 6km of pubic realm including the arrival courtyards. Hopkins has meanwhile designed 86 permanent buildings to house participating countries, food and drinks outlets and other amenities.
The postponement follows a review into the impact of the pandemic on preparations for the expo and feedback from participating countries. The decision needs to be ratified by the Bureau International des Expositions and its members before a new date can be announced.
A statement by the organisers said: ‘These are extraordinary times and we, in common with our other stakeholders, expect to experience many challenges over the months to come. We remain firm in our collective aim to deliver an Expo that is true to its time and to our shared, urgent priorities. But it is clear that this is not the right time.
‘While everyone involved in Expo 2020 Dubai remains firmly committed, many countries have been significantly impacted by Covid-19 and they have expressed a need to postpone Expo’s opening by one year, while they focus on overcoming this challenge.’
One of three larger thematic pavilions planned for EXPO 2020 in Dubai, the Sustainability pavilion by Grimshaw Architects will sit alongside 34 national pavilions. The design draws inspiration from natural processes like photosynthesis. The form of the pa