L-R: Marc Scheer, Management Board of GIE Luxembourg; Maggy Nagel, Commissioner General; Franz Fayot, Minister of Economy; Jean Leyder, Director of Public Building Administration; André Hansen, Economy Ministry; Credit: MECO

On Thursday 1 October 2020, Franz Fayot, Luxembourg's Minister of the Economy, and Maggy Nagel, Commissioner General of the Luxembourg Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, presented an update on Luxembourg’s participation in the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, the official start of which has been postponed by exactly one year.

Expo 2020 Dubai, one of the largest world exhibitions ever held, will begin in exactly one year, on 1 October 2021, and will end on 31 March 2022. Given the impact of COVID-19, the dates, scheduled for 2020, have been postponed in order to protect the health of workers and visitors. 

During Thursday's press conference, the Economy Minister first thanked the partners (Chamber of Commerce, SES and POST) and sponsors (Arcelor Mittal, Cargolux, RAK porcelain, Guardian Glass, MCM Steel and ULT), all of whom decided to uphold their participation despite the postponement of the World Expo 2020 Dubai. Minister Franz Fayot congratulated the Board of Management of the GIE for their good management of the budget; despite additional cost linked to the postponement, the initial budget limit of €32 million is not expected to be exceeded.

Commissioner Maggy Nagel then presented an update on the construction of the Luxembourg pavilion, which is moving forward despite very strict measures to protect the health of workers. Construction is now 75% complete and will be finished at the beginning of next year. Work on the interior (scenography, shop, restaurant, etc.) will continue throughout spring / summer 2021. Preparation of the programme is also ongoing. Almost all the events planned for 2020 will be rescheduled to 2021. The Commissioner also highlighted that 70% of the material used for construction will be reused or recycled at the end of the Expo. A large part of the interior components will make their way back to Luxembourg in order to be reused in the framework of the promotion of the Grand Duchy’s brand image.

Finally, the Commissioner launched a call for volunteers to fill several vacant positions in the on-site team in Dubai, among others. The positions are open to any person who speaks Luxembourgish and English and is willing to work for free during one month. The organisers will cover the flight costs as well as accommodation and meal expenses.

Economy Minister Franz Fayot concluded: “Within one year, we can hope for a substantial decline of the pandemic. In that context, I hope that Dubai Expo 2020 will be a crucial venue at the end of the crisis for boosting trade and the global economy. The theme of the Expo ‘Connecting Minds, Building the Future’ is more topical than ever since it aims at bringing countries together to find solutions to the great global challenges of today”.