Dubai has been chosen to host the 2020 World Expo, the first time a middle eastern state has been selected.
The United Arab Emirates hope staging the event will bring in billions of euros in investment, and cement Dubai’s reputation as an open global centre.
UAE Foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan said: “I think that is a wonderful day for the UAE. It comes just a couple of days after our national day and I think we are all very proud of the achievement and we are also very proud of the amount of international committment and support for the UAE’s bid.
Dubai fought off three challengers, Sao Paulo, which fell in the first round of voting, Izmir, which fell in the second, and Yekaterinburg, which got 47 final-round votes to Dubai’s 116.
Six and a half billion euros will be spent on venues and upgraded infrastructure for the expo.
Euronews correspondent Gianni Magi says Dubai was the favourite from the beginning, but it took three rounds of voting before the winner was announced. He adds it has been a competition full of suspense to find the host city for the Expo 2020.