Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital, has won the bid with a big margin of votes to host the 2030 World Expo, as revealed by vote results. This win comes after Qatar successfully hosted the football World Cup the previous year.
Riyadh competed against South Korea’s Busan and Italy’s Rome for the opportunity to host the five-yearly event, which draws millions of visitors and significant investment.
Riyadh secured 119 votes, surpassing the required two-thirds majority, while South Korea’s Busan received 29 votes and Italy’s Rome got only 17.
The secret ballot was carried out using electronic voting, and Riyadh was confirmed as the successor host to Osaka in 2025.
#WATCH: #Riyadh triumphs as the chosen destination for World Expo 2030, igniting celebrations among the Saudi delegation in #Paris https://t.co/FvJeSqNZdz#RiyadhExpo2030@Riyadh_Expo2030 pic.twitter.com/vwCWoGISPu
— Arab News | Business (@ArabNewsBiz) November 28, 2023
During the BIE event in the French capital, candidates presented their final Expo progress reports to member states and government-appointed delegates in an 11th-hour attempt to win votes.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman used a visit to Paris in June to showcase the Kingdom’s bid for the Expo, attending an exhibition held by the Royal Commission for the City of Riyadh that showcased Saudi Arabia’s rich heritage and cultural depth.
The bid began to draw support from high-profile French backers, with influential French senator Natalie Goulet saying that holding the expo in the Saudi capital would be “the culmination of Vision 2030.”
The win of Riyadh is seen as a diplomatic triumph and aligns with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 program, aimed at reducing the country’s dependence on oil.
The World Expo, with origins dating back to the 19th century, serves as a showcase event addressing contemporary challenges and is scheduled to take place in Riyadh between October 2030 and March 2031.