x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

The wait begins as Expo delegates complete Dubai’s bidding process

Officials who have put several years of hard work into Dubai’s bid will face a month of uncertainty before the general assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions on November 26 and 27.

DUBAI // Foreign delegates who visited Dubai this week to assess the city’s suitability to host the World’s Fair in 2020 left Thursday night, starting a month of waiting before the final votes are cast.

Aside from a technical meeting in Paris next week, which some non-VIP delegates from Dubai will attend, the bidding process is now closed.

Officials who have put several years of hard work into Dubai’s bid will face a month of uncertainty before the general assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) on November 26 and 27.

“BIE has officially finished the bidding campaign with the Dubai symposium,” said a BIE spokesman.

“Aside from a technical meeting on Tuesday, we have no more official events before the general assembly.”

Three other cities are in the running: Yekaterinburg, Russia; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Izmir, Turkey.

Each city has held a symposium, which involves presentations not only on the form of the proposed expo, but its overarching theme as well.

The last symposium, in Izmir, was focused on health issues, and was held on October 15. Dubai’s theme was titled “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.

Delegates from BIE arrived in Dubai on Monday and attended conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday that focused on the themes of the proposed expo.

They also took part in “learning journeys” across Dubai and the wider country to see how the city embodies its theme in practice.

Delegates left Thursday evening, and a small team from Dubai will travel to Paris on Tuesday for the technical meeting.

It will focus on the mechanics of the voting process and the scheduled press conference that will take place on November 25.

The BIE spokesman said the details of the conference had not yet been hammered out.

“BIE is going to propose a joint press conference for all of the candidate cities,” the spokesman added. “But it’s also possible to have separate press conferences for each of them.”

He said that some candidate cities had scheduled cultural events in Paris throughout the month, but did not have details.

A spokesman for Dubai’s bid was not immediately available to clarify whether the UAE would be hosting anything similar.

mcroucher@thenational.ae