Voting results on Tuesday showed that Riyadh won the right to host the World Expo 2030, in another diplomatic victory for a Gulf country after Qatar hosted the FIFA World Cup last year.
The cities of Busan in South Korea and Rome in Italy competed with Riyadh to host the World Expo, which is held every five years and attracts millions of visitors and billions of dollars in investments.
The Bureau International des Expositions announced on Tuesday that the Saudi capital, Riyadh, will host Expo 2030, far ahead of Busan (South Korea) and Rome.
Riyadh won 119 votes, compared to 29 for Busan and 17 for Rome, meaning that it won two-thirds of the 165 votes, according to the results of the International Bureau of Exhibitions.
When the results were announced, an atmosphere of joy prevailed within the large Saudi delegation.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud announced, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will present an exceptional version of Expo 2030.”
He added that Saudi Arabia will focus on sustainable development goals during its hosting of Expo 2030. The minister added: “We have worked on many initiatives, and we will devote our efforts to international cooperation, and we welcome you to Riyadh.”
He explained, “The Crown Prince personally led the bid for Riyadh to host the exhibition, and Riyadh’s victory in hosting the exhibition reflects the world’s confidence in the Kingdom.”
For his part, Dimitri Kerkentzis, Secretary-General of the International Bureau of Exhibitions, announced that “Saudi Arabia won Expo 2030 decisively,” congratulating Riyadh on its “overwhelming victory.”
“This exhibition will be a catalyst for the transformation” of the Kingdom, he said during a press conference after the vote.
Riyadh, Busan and Rome competed to win the organization of the Expo 2030 international exhibition, hoping that their green projects of high technological value would allow them to host the event that attracts millions of visitors.
Bin Salman, South Korean President Yeon Suk-yeol, and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.