Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh chosen to host the 2030 World Expo

A light display created using drones is performed after Riyadh won the right to host the 2030 World Expo at king Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, on November 28, 2023.
A light display created using drones is performed after Riyadh won the right to host the 2030 World Expo at king Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, on November 28, 2023. Copyright FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP or licensors
By Euronews with AP
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Saudi Arabia hopes the Expo will bring 40 million of visitors to its capital city.

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Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh was chosen Tuesday to host the 2030 World Expo following its bid that focused on shaping a prosperous and sustainable future, beating out Rome and the South Korean port city of Busan for an event expected to draw millions of visitors.

Members of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions chose Riyadh with a majority of 119 out of 165 votes during a closed-door meeting in the suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux. Busan got 29 votes and Rome 17. The result was greeted with cheers by the Saudi delegation.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, welcomed the vote as an “expression of the trust that the international community has in what we have to offer… but also in its alignment with our own vision (for) 2030 and everything that we advocate for, which is a shared pathway to prosperity for all of the countries of the world.”

“We are committed to living up to the expectations and delivering an extraordinary expo,” he said.

The Saudi plans include a major public transit network and a futuristic, round space with public parks, e-game facilities, large scale performance stages and sport venues. The project includes a focus on “accelerating innovations” to preserve natural ecosystems.

“The legacy of Riyadh Expo 2030 will go beyond the buildings,” Prince Faisal added, promising “fantastic” architecture. “We are about a journey, a journey that brings the world together... So that will be the legacy, working together for a brighter, more prosperous future.”

Saudi Arabia hopes the Expo will bring 40 million of visitors to its capital city.

With the stakes high, each city escalated its campaign efforts, showcasing unique visions and ambitious promises to secure the rights to the globally prestigious event.

Members of the Saudi delegation celebrate after the Bureau International des Expositions, or BIE, announced the vote Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 in Paris
Members of the Saudi delegation celebrate after the Bureau International des Expositions, or BIE, announced the vote Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 in ParisAurelien Morissard/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

Saudi Arabia mounted a significant marketing campaign, featuring a “Riyadh 2030” exhibit near the Eiffel Tower and extensive advertising across Paris. The Saudi bid, seeking to diversify the kingdom’s economy and boost its international stature, had notably received official support from French President Emmanuel Macron.

Some activists denounced Riyadh’s candidacy amid allegations that the country violates human rights.

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