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Homechevron_rightMiddle Eastchevron_rightSaudi Arabiachevron_rightWorld Expo 2030 to be...

World Expo 2030 to be hosted in Riyadh, the Saudi capital

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World Expo 2030 to be hosted in Riyadh, the Saudi capital
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Paris: After overcoming opposition from South Korea and Italy, Riyadh will host the World Expo 2030. This is a significant event.

The member states of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions chose the Saudi capital with a majority vote of 119 out of 165.

With the use of electronic voting for the secret vote, Riyadh was officially confirmed as the successor host to Osaka's 2025, Arab News reported.

In a final effort to secure votes, applicants gave their Expo status updates to government-appointed delegates and member states during the BIE gathering in the French capital.

It is anticipated that the occasion will symbolise the culmination of Vision 2030 and highlight the Kingdom's accomplishments, with a special emphasis on culture, hospitality, and tourism.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attended an exhibition organised by the Royal Commission for the City of Riyadh that highlighted Saudi Arabia's rich legacy and cultural depth during a June trip to Paris to promote the Kingdom's candidature for the Expo.

High-profile French backers of the project started to show their support; prominent senator Natalie Goulet declared that hosting the exhibition in the Saudi capital would be "the culmination of Vision 2030."

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said: “I would like to thank the 130 countries that have already announced their support for the Kingdom’s bid. Distinguished dignitaries, you have all acted as indispensable partners providing insight, feedback, and support throughout the Kingdom’s campaign.”

He reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s “unwavering commitment to collaborate with all nations to deliver an Expo built by the world for the world and to find new pathways for collective action and collaboration.”

The foreign minister said the Kingdom will “provide facilities packages of $348 million to a pool of 100 eligible countries."

Prominent personalities from diverse fields supported the campaign, such as Adel Al-Jubair, the Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal bin Abdulaziz bin Ayyaf, the Mayor of Riyadh, and Frédéric Bedin, the president of Hopscotch Public Relations.

Other well-known backers included Rob Sobhani, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, Princess Lamia bint Majed, vice president of the Saudi Arabia Boxing Federation Rasha Al-Khamism, and secretary-general of Alwaleed Philanthropy and UN Human Settlements Program's Goodwill Ambassador.

However, the campaign had begun earlier when Paris declared that it would support Riyadh Expo 2030. This support was reaffirmed in June 2023 when the crown prince visited Paris and took part in the inaugural Summit for Financial Pact.

Princess Haifa Al-Mogrin, the Kingdom’s ambassador to UNESCO, commented on the achievement and said: “Riyadh Expo 2030 will be a global platform that accelerates progress, toward the most urgent challenges, health and education, climate and the environment, trade and investment, peace and prosperity for all.”

Why Riyadh? With multiple megaprojects underway and the city's vibrant energy, sustainability and quality of life are becoming central themes in all discussions.

These themes are covered in the Expo 2030 location, which also promises to provide sustainable solutions—like clean mobility and renewable energy—for the cities of the future.

One of the most significant examples of building the "city of the future" while maintaining legacy is the creation of green neighbourhoods, with trees and water serving as the primary enablers, and the restoration of Riyadh's famed red sands desert.

With its Green Riyadh Programme, Saudi Arabia is setting a higher standard for sustainability while also attempting to create connections, promote public transportation use, and raise the percentage of green space in order to enhance air quality.

In order to promote public health, lower energy consumption, and ultimately rank Riyadh among the world's 100 best livable cities, the programme also aims to raise the percentage of green space from 1.5 to 9.1%.

With 70 per cent of Saudi Arabia's population under thirty, and the country's qualified labour pool driving the country's race to 2030, the first Arab capital to host the global event is brimming with excitement and enthusiasm.

“Diriyah will be very famous by 2030, the city of Riyadh will be unrecognizable,” Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of the Diriyah Group, told Arab News during an event leading up to the Expo 2030 announcement.

“What Singapore did in 60 years, what the Emiratis did just in tourism in 30 years, the crown prince wants to accomplish that in 15 years,” he added

The directors of landscape architecture for the Royal Commission, Lamia Al-Muhanna and Nouf Al-Moneef, presented a colour-coded map of the planned pavilions, performance spaces, support buildings, and exhibition village during a symposium earlier in November in Paris.

Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister of tourism, Princess Haifa bint Mohammed Al-Saud used the event to say: “Choosing Saudi, choosing Riyadh, is choosing the world.”

The Saudi capital will see enormous infrastructural improvements in order to host Expo 2030, including the addition of 70,000 new hotel rooms.

Access to the venue will be possible through a newly developed metro that connects Expo City to the reconstructed King Salman Airport, which will span 57 million square metres and rank among the world's largest aviation hubs.

By 2025, Riyadh Air, the Kingdom's newest airline, will offer flights to 100 countries, greatly enhancing the accessibility of the capital.

“As host, we will create a world-class site expo to enable you to build pavilions and experiences in a way that matches your national priorities and aspirations,” said Ghida Al-Shibl, a member of the Riyadh Expo 2030 team.

She said: “By Feb 2028, participant parcel and expo village will be open. We will fast-track all necessary requirements including imports, visas, and regulations.”

Al-Shibl said the Kingdom will launch a participant lab in 2025 that will run through 2030 as a 24/7 concierge service to support “your move, and a variety of housing options for teams and families, in addition to access to excellent healthcare and education and banking services.”

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TAGS:Saudi ArabiaRiyadhWorld Expo 2030
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