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.
Riyadh was picked by a majority of 119 out of 165 votes. Busan won 29 and Rome 17.
During a presentation of the Riyadh file, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah underlined the Kingdom’s commitment to host the global event and offer an extraordinary edition of the world fair.
The expo, held under the theme “The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow”, will focus on sustainable development goals and launch a number of solutions for the advancement of mankind, he added.
The Saudi delegation at the presentation said the expo will focus on achieving “a better tomorrow,” “climate work” and “prosperity for all,” to form a cohesive framework to tackle common global challenges in the economy, environment, geo-political, social and technological spheres.
A budget of 7.8 billion dollars has been allocated to hold the expo.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, had underscored the Kingdom’s determination to offer an exceptional and unprecedented edition of the expo as it seeks to develop Riyadh into one of the world’s top ten cities - in line with Vision 2030 – in terms of its economy, quality of life and competitiveness along with other factors.
The Saudi capital has proposed to host the event between October 2030 and March 2031.
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.