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Artistic impression of Al Wasl Plaza at the proposed site of Dubai Expo 2020. Courtesy Dubai Expo 2020
Artistic impression of Al Wasl Plaza at the proposed site of Dubai Expo 2020. Courtesy Dubai Expo 2020

Dubai still in the race as it clears vital stage in bid for Expo 2020

Of the five cities bidding for the expo, only one of them was eliminated, leaving Dubai and three others in the race.

PARIS // Dubaiís bid to stage Expo 2020 has passed its latest stage, after sources said the cityís plans had met the necessary requirements.

The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the organisation that oversees the expos, was considering reports from inspectors who visited the five candidate cities.

Delegates at its general assembly in Paris had to decide whether the bids met the organisationís criteria for staging an expo.

There was no immediate official statement about the outcome of the discussions, but sources within the closed session confirmed that Dubaiís bid had met the criteria.

The same sources confirmed comments by a BIE official on social media that another candidate city, Ayutthaya in Thailand, was no longer running.

The sources said the Thai bid had failed to meet the requirements.

Dubai and the other three surviving cities face another major test today when they present their Expo plans to the delegates.

The others still in the race are Sao Paulo in Brazil, Yekaterinburg in Russia and Izmir in Turkey.

The first hint that Dubai and the other three had passed while Ayutthaya had failed came when the agenda for todayís session was published.

The item covering the presentations listed the four but not the Thai bid.

Pascal Deseure, managing director of the BIE Multimedia Exhibition and Training Centre in the French capital, had tweeted, ďAt the 153rd BIE General Assembly in Paris: Thailand is not competing anymore for expo 2020.Ē

The Ayutthaya bid had faced opposition within Thailand because of concerns about the cost of staging a world fair.

Izmir has also experienced a difficult run-up to its presentation as it has been affected by the wave of unrest in Turkey.

The Dubai team was last night putting the final touches to its presentation.

Dubai and the other candidate cities will each have 30 minutes to sell their proposals to delegates.

It is believed many of those who will eventually choose the winner will make up their minds based on what they hear today.

The winner will be announced after a vote by the bureauís 166 member states at its next general assembly in November.

csimpson@thenational.ae

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