Organisers of Horticultural Expo 2021 Doha Qatar have agreed to seek approval to change the opening of the Expo to October 2023.

The proposed change in dates was recommended by the Association of International Horticultural Producers (AIPH) and agreed by the Government of the State of Qatar, which will deliver a formal request to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE). The proposal was made in light of the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic globally and the difficulties for participating countries in preparing for the event during the pandemic.

Qatar’s request for a change of dates will be examined during the next meeting of the BIE Executive Committee scheduled for 14 October 2020. As stipulated by Article 28 of the 1928 Paris Convention, a final decision on the change of dates can only be made by a two-thirds majority vote of BIE Member States, which would take place at the following BIE General Assembly scheduled for December 2020.

Horticultural Expo 2021 Doha Qatar was recognised by the 164th General Assembly of the BIE in November 2018 and is set to be the first Horticultural Expo to take place in the Middle East. Themed “Green Desert, Better Environment”, the Expo will take place on a 80 hectare site in Al Bidda park in Central Doha. 

Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, the Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), stated: “I welcome the AIPH’s recommendation and Qatar’s resolution to move Horticultural Expo 2021 Doha Qatar to 2023, and I am confident that the change in dates will be approved by our Member States. For the host country and all participating countries, the new dates will allow the necessary time to adjust and adapt their plans to ensure the Middle East’s first Horticultural Expo is a resounding success in 2023.”

The Minister of Municipality and Environment for the State of Qatar, His Excellency Abdulla Bin Abdulaziz Al Subai indicated: “Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the State of Qatar implemented strategic measures to address the economic and social impact of the pandemic, having said that and as we recognize the severe impact of the pandemic globally, we welcome the revised dates suggested by the AIPH for the Horticultural Expo. The State of Qatar is always committed to deliver world class events and this will not change for the A1 World Horticultural Exhibition happening for the first time in our region. Qatar looks forward to welcoming the global horticultural sector to share knowledge and experience in support of the Qatar National Vision 2030.”

Tim Briercliffe, the Secretary General of the AIPH, commented: “Although Expo preparations are well underway in Doha, it is necessary to postpone the opening to allow more time for international participants to visit Doha, select their locations and prepare the construction and activities they need.”