FAQ // Frequently Asked Questions related to Expo 2020 Dubai's possible postponement due to COVID-19

Life of the Pavilion
COFREX*** is the public company in charge of the France Pavilion. Its aim is to prepare, organize and promote France when it takes part in World and Specialized Expos. We answer here to the most frequently asked questions relating to the consequences the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has on the preparations of Expo 2020 in Dubai.

Last update on May 29th.
FAQ Covid EN

// UPDATE // Is it confirmed that Expo 2020 Dubai will be postponed for one year?

Several participating countries including France, Expo 2020 organizers, and the BIE**’s Executive Commission have proposed that Expo 2020 should take place from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. On May 4th, Expo 2020 Dubai has officially confirmed these new dates and the postponement of Expo 2020 Dubai. 

On May 29th, BIE has confirmed that the one-year postponement. The decision to change the dates has been taken collectively by the BIE’s Member States, including France. The two thirds of the members had to agree and on May 4th, the BIE has announced that the votes had already surpassed the required two-thirds. 

Is a cancellation of Expo 2020 Dubai’s conceivable? 

A cancellation of the World Expo has not been considered because World Expos are intended to bring nations together around common issues and challenges, and this will be even more true after this crisis. 

In case of postponement, could the organizers provide any support to the visitors who have already purchased their Expo’s entrance ticket, flight and hotel room?

The organizers of Expo 2020 have informed us that tickets bought for the Expo would be valid in 2021 where possible, and that ticket holders who cannot attend in 2021 will be reimbursed.
Regarding hotel or flight bookings, we are not in a position to comment and we encourage people who were planning to come in 2020 to speak directly to Expo 2020.

What is France’s position to a possible one-year postponement of Expo 2020?

COFREX has had a close dialogue with the French Government ever since the first reports of the COVID-19 came out. It quickly appeared to France to favor a one-year postponement, as the priority is protecting public health and safety. 

What would be the impact of the Expo 2020’s postponement on COFREX’s organization?

A postponement would represent a big challenge. In the coming months and year, we would adapt ourselves to this new timeline and optimize this extra-year to pay even more attention to the Pavilion’s programming and experience. 

How would a postponement affect the construction of the France Pavilion?

A postponement of Expo 2020 might affect the construction of the France Pavilion and some delays could be expected because of COVID-19. Indeed, this crisis impacts production and transportation of certain materials, and labor as they can’t be as numerous as before on the site.
The construction’s delivery date was initially planned for this summer. We keep working according to our timeline but will adapt our organization if the postponement is official, upon the Emirati authorities’ health measures. 
The installation of equipment and furniture, among other things, will probably be done at a later stage. 

Are the workers on the France Pavilion’s construction site still working?

Our priority is the health and safety of all the France Pavilion’s workers. All the hygiene and safety measures are taken and daily monitored by the medical staff of BESIX** to guarantee the health of the workers.

How do you ensure that the pavilion could withstand a possible one-year postponement?

The France Pavilion has been designed according to Dubai standards and regulations and is therefore perfectly adapted to the local climate (high temperatures, wind, and termites).

How did the France Pavilion’s sponsors react to the possible postponement? 

If the event of a postponement, our partners have confirmed their support by continuing their involvement with us. We deeply thank all of them for their continued trust, cooperation, and energy; and look forward to keeping working together to ensure an incredible experience on France Pavilion.
We regularly inform them with the situation updates, and they have been very supportive in France’s favorable position to postpone the event to focus on health, safety and security of the international community. 

How would the development of the Exhibition and the programming work proceed?

We will adapt to this new timeline and will optimize this extra-year to pay even more attention to the Pavilion’s programming and experience. In deep connection with France Pavilion’s sponsors, we will continue to develop the content of the Exhibition and the programming, in the light of Expo 2020 Dubai’s ambitions and the world situation we are facing.  

Would Jessica Préalpato and Thomas Pesquet remain France Pavilion’s Ambassadors?

Jessica Préalpato and Thomas Pesquet have renewed their support and will continue to embody France at the Dubai World Expo. 

 

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*BESIX: BESIX is the construction group in charge of the France Pavilion’s construction. 

**BIE: Bureau International des Expositions
The BIE is the Intergovernmental Organization in charge of overseeing and regulating all international exhibitions that last more than three weeks and are of non-commercial nature. It is the “Exhibitions’ CIO”. 

***COFREX: Compagnie Française des Expositions 
COFREX is a publicly funded SAS company. Its aim is to prepare, organize and promote France when it takes part in World and Specialized Expos. 

Do you still have questions?

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