Paris: Saudi Arabia's Riyadh will host the Expo 2030 world fair, the vote results from 182 members of the Bureau International des Expositions showed on Tuesday.
South Korea's Busan and Italy's Rome were also in the running to host the world fair, a five-yearly event that attracts millions of visitors and billions of dollars in investment
Needing only one round of voting and securing the necessary two-thirds majority of member states at the general assembly of organisers Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris, Riyadh won 119 votes, South Korea's Busan 29 and Italian capital Rome 17, the BIE said.
With the stakes high, each city has escalated its campaign efforts , showcasing unique visions and ambitious promises to secure the rights to the globally prestigious event.
Sheikh Mohamed said, "I extend my sincere congratulations to King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the people of Saudi Arabia for the Kingdom's successful bid to host Expo 2030. Through resounding support for Riyadh Expo 2030, the international community continues to recognise the remarkable path towards growth and prosperity in Saudi Arabia."
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, extended his congratulations to Saudi Arabia and its leaders for winning the bid to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh.
"We extend our congratulations to the beloved city of Riyadh, the capital of goodness, glory, prosperity, and stability, for winning the bid to host Expo 2030. I congratulate my brother King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for this global recognition, selecting Riyadh as the cultural destination for the world in 2030," Sheikh Mohammed said in a post on his account on X platform.
"The joy of the Saudi people brings us happiness, and their success is a success for us all. Hosting the world in 2030 is a collective win, not just for us but also for our Gulf and the broader region," added the Vice-President.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, also conveyed his congratulations to the leaders and people of Saudi Arabia for this global recognition.
"We extend our congratulations to our brothers in Saudi Arabia for securing the bid to host Expo 2030. We are confident that Riyadh will captivate the world with this significant event. Congratulations to Saudi Arabia and all Arab nations," Sheikh Hamdan expressed in a post.
The Saudi plan includes a major public transit network and a futuristic space meant to show “the vision of the country to pioneer a sustainable future for cities and their communities.”
Saudi Arabia has 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, has received support from French President Emmanuel Macron, as indicated in a July statement from the Elysee Palace.
The World Expo has a storied history of bringing together nations to showcase technological innovations and cultural achievements. Since the inaugural event in 1851, Expos have been platforms for introducing groundbreaking inventions such as the light bulb, the Ferris wheel and the Eiffel Tower itself, which was built for the 1889 Exposition Universelle.
These events have evolved to not only be celebrations of human ingenuity, but also opportunities for host cities to catalyze economic growth and global recognition.
With the world’s attention turned to Paris, the upcoming vote will set the stage for the next chapter in the rich legacy of the World Expos. The next Expo is scheduled to be held in Osaka, Japan, in 2025.