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Virus fears cause Cabsat delay, new French ban

Cabsat, the Dubai-based digital media and satellite confab targeting the Middle East and Africa, has been postponed due to travel restrictions relating to coronavirus.

This year’s event was due to take place from March 31 to April 2 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, but it has now been rescheduled for October 26 to 28.

The news comes as French authorities expand the ban on public gatherings to those for more than 1,000 people in an attempt to slow the spread of Covid-19, health minister Olivier Véran said yesterday. The ban was previously only for events for over 5,000 people.

“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,” the Cabsat organiser said.

“Whilst the UAE remains completely safe for travel, and has deployed the strictest medical and hygiene protocols, we fully recognise that for some specific shows, we have a high majority of key participants significant to the event’s programme that are unable to travel due to restrictions in their home countries.

“As such, we have been working closely to assure that our clients’ needs are most effectively addressed, and the delivery of strong international participation considered, in these extraordinary times.

“Our decision comes after much deliberation in consultation with the event’s main participants and industry stakeholders, who have strongly endorsed our prioritisation of the collective interests of both the global exhibitors and the key buyers from the region.

Coronavirus continues to dramatically impact the global TV industry, with this year’s SXSW, which was due to take place in Austin, Texas, from March 13 to 22, cancelled over the weekend.

It follows on the heels of the nixing of France’s MipTV and Canneseries last week; as well as Greece’s Thessaloniki Documentary Festival; and the postponement of Rai TV’s Cartoons on the Bay in Italy.

Other TV industry events to be cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus concerns include Geneva’s International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights, APOS 2020 in Asia, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and Hong Kong’s International Film & TV Market (Filmart).

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