The Dubai International Boat Show has been postponed until November 2020 with organizers blaming the coronavirus epidemic for the change.
The show had been due to take place on March 10, 2020, and set to last five days, but was postponed by organizers on Monday.
The coronavirus first started spreading from Wuhan, China, earlier this year and has since infected nearly 90,000 people, with over 3,000 dead. The Middle East has been hit particularly hard after Iran became the second deadliest epicenter for the disease after China, with 54 dead in the country.
“In light of the evolving global developments around the COVID-19 virus, Dubai World Trade Centre has been closely monitoring the situation, particularly as it pertains to our key stakeholders and participating delegations from around the world across all our upcoming shows,” a statement posted on the show’s website read.
Airlines and civil aviation authorities have restricted travel to epicenters of the deadly coronavirus around the world, including China, Iran, and Italy. The UAE has banned its citizens from traveling to Iran and Thailand in order to contain the virus’s spread.
“Whilst the UAE remains completely safe for travel, and has deployed the strictest medical and hygiene protocols, we fully recognize that for some specific shows, we have a high majority of key participants significant to the event’s program that are unable to travel due to restrictions in their home country,” the statement added.
The show is now set to take place 24-28 November 2020, which coincides with Dubai's upcoming Expo 2020.