Dubai to offer COVID-19 shots to country representatives at Expo 2020

Expo 2020 will take place from October 2021 to March 2022

  
Expo 2020’s efforts on World Wildlife Day 2021 mirror its wider sustainability efforts, both locally and globally. Image: Dubai Media Office Twitter account

Expo 2020’s efforts on World Wildlife Day 2021 mirror its wider sustainability efforts, both locally and globally. Image: Dubai Media Office Twitter account

DUBAI - Dubai will offer COVID-19 vaccines to official representatives of countries participating in Expo 2020 Dubai, due to be held from October this year to March 2022, the emirate's crown prince said on Wednesday.

Regional business and tourism hub Dubai is relying on the global fair, which had been postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, to give its economy a boost.

Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al-Maktoum, chairing a meeting of the Dubai Executive Council, directed that vaccines be provided to all official representatives of participating countries "to guarantee a comprehensive, safe and unforgettable experience", Dubai Media Office said.

"Expo 2020 Dubai will be the world's gateway of hope for life returning to normal," he said. "In October, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates will open their arms to the whole world for new horizons of constructive global cooperation."

An estimated 11 million overseas visitors were initially forecast to attend the showpiece of culture, business and technology featuring pavilions from more than 190 countries. It was not clear how many overseas visitors are now expected.

The UAE, which includes Dubai, is among the countries with the world's fastest COVID-19 vaccination programmes.

Most coronavirus restrictions have been lifted in the Gulf Arab state though social distancing and mask-wearing in public are still required.

(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli and Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Bernadette Baum) ((maher.chmaytelli@thomsonreuters.com;))

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