Saudi Arabia Promises to Host 'Best Expo in History'

 Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Princess Rima bint Bandar, in Paris on Tuesday (AP)
 Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Princess Rima bint Bandar, in Paris on Tuesday (AP)
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Saudi Arabia Promises to Host 'Best Expo in History'

 Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Princess Rima bint Bandar, in Paris on Tuesday (AP)
 Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Princess Rima bint Bandar, in Paris on Tuesday (AP)

Representatives of the 170 member-states of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) gathered in Paris on Tuesday for the announcement of the findings of Enquiry Missions carried out by the BIE to assess the candidature projects for World Expo 2030.

The member-states voted to retain the three projects that were considered by the Executive Committee of the BIE to be viable and in line with BIE regulations. Those included Saudi Arabia, Italy and South Korea.

The Saudi Arabian delegation, led by the Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, presented a dynamic plan and philosophy for Saudi Arabia’s ambition to host the Expo 2030, under the theme “The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow”.

The team included the CEO of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, Ibrahim Al-Sultan, the Director of Landscape Architecture, Lamia al-Muhanna, Senior Director of Creative Arts, Architect Nouf al-Moneef, Minister of Investment Khalid al-Falih, and the Kingdom’s Ambassador to the US, Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud.

Speaking on the occasion, Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan expressed gratitude to the General Assembly president and the BIE Secretariat for their dedicated efforts.

Emphasizing the Kingdom’s unique global position, which connects north to south and east to west, Bin Farhan linked Saudi Arabia’s Expo 2030 bid to Vision 2030 and expressed the country’s ambition to create a prosperous and sustainable future.

He also announced that Saudi Arabia offered a $343 million facilities package designed to assist 100 eligible countries in areas like pavilion construction, maintenance technologies, travel events, and more.

For his part, Ibrahim Al-Sultan, CEO of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, stressed Saudi Arabia’s capabilities to fulfill its commitments, noting that Riyadh planned to host 120 million visitors in 2030.

He also expressed confidence in Riyadh’s ability to deliver an “unprecedented world expo”.

In his speech, the minister of Investment noted that the investment opportunities within the framework of Expo 2030 would be excellent and integrated with the investment climate in Saudi Arabia.

Princess Rima bint Bandar said that her country was “committed to holding the best version in history of a world exhibition,” pointing to the Kingdom’s tourism, natural, cultural, historical and human capabilities.

The Saudi delegation did not forget to remind of the major ongoing projects in the Kingdom, including NEOM, Qiddiya, Misk City, the Red Sea projects, and the Cube.

On Monday evening, the Royal Commission for Riyadh City hosted a celebration at the Grand Palais Ephémère, in the heart of Paris, in the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The event provided an opportunity to present the Kingdom’s plan, and to share its story of the unprecedented national transformation.

On this occasion, Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with the Secretary-General of the BIE, Dimitri Kerkentzes, with whom he reviewed the Kingdom’s bid to host Expo 2030. The meeting was attended by Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Ibrahim Al-Sultan, and the Kingdom’s Ambassador to France, Fahd Al-Ruwaili.

A member of the French delegation, which participated in the BIE General Assembly, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Saudi presentation was “unique”, adding that Riyadh “deserves to host the exhibition.”

During the 173rd General Assembly of the BIE in November 2023, the member-states will elect the host country of World Expo 2030 via secret ballot on the principle of one country, one vote.



Construction Begins on ‘Banan City’ Project in Riyadh

Engineers oversee construction work at “Banan City” Project in northern Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Engineers oversee construction work at “Banan City” Project in northern Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Construction Begins on ‘Banan City’ Project in Riyadh

Engineers oversee construction work at “Banan City” Project in northern Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Engineers oversee construction work at “Banan City” Project in northern Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Talaat Moustafa Group announced on Saturday that construction work has commenced on the “Banan City” Project in Riyadh’s northeastern Al-Fursan suburb.
The company stated that operations are underway around the clock, adhering to construction schedules and plans. Heavy and operational equipment are fully deployed to deliver units to owners sequentially.
Banan City is set to be a smart city spanning 10 million square meters in northeastern Riyadh.
It aims to offer an unprecedented quality of life to over 120,000 residents within a gated community. The development will integrate cutting-edge smart city technologies with residential privacy and the latest sustainability standards.
In May, the National Housing Company and Saudi Talaat Moustafa Group laid the foundation for “Banan City” and began accepting reservations.
On July 9, the group disclosed to the Egyptian stock exchange that “Banan City,” described as a sustainable city, has achieved unprecedented sales since its launch in May, surpassing the first-year sales target in just two months.
Hesham Talaat Moustafa, Chairman of Saudi Talaat Moustafa Group, projected the project’s revenue at around 40 billion Saudi riyals ($12 billion), with a total investment cost estimated at 31.4 billion riyals.