Expo 2020 Dubai, Dubai Expo, UAE, Dubai, Qatar, Israel, Expo pavilions

Expo 2020 Dubai invites Qatar and Israel to participate

Expo 2020 Dubai has invited all 192 countries “without exception” to take part in the event next year, including Qatar and Israel, making it the most "inclusive and international Expo ever organised", an official spokesperson confirmed.

“We have invited all countries in the world without exception, in line with our commitment to making Expo 2020 Dubai a truly international event and platform for all of humanity,” an official Expo 2020 Dubai spokesperson said in a statement.

“For more than 170 years, World Expos have been apolitical events focused on furthering humanity for the common good through innovation, cultural exchange, creativity and collaboration. We are proud to continue that tradition,” the statement added.

Despite the United Arab Emirates, along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, severing diplomatic, trade and transport links with Qatar in June 2017, Expo 2020 Dubai organisers are in talks with the Doha government to participate in event, reported Arabian Business

The business title added that an official Expo 2020 Dubai spokesperson said: “Qatar was invited and had confirmed its participation. Discussions on the detail of that participation have been going on for some time now, and are ongoing. We look forward to welcoming everyone to Expo 2020”.

Israel on Thursday also confirmed it will take part in the event. “Expos are global gatherings where people from around the world come together to celebrate ingenuity and apply it to shared challenges. We are excited to be a part of that common endeavour,” an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement to Reuters.

"I welcome Israel's participation in the Dubai expo," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement to the AFP news wire.

Expo 2020 Dubai will run from October 20, 2020 to April 20, 2021 and it is estimated the event will attract 25 million visitors to the UAE. The Dubai government is planning to spend around $40 billion on major projects related to the event.