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Will the upcoming Expo 2030 be in Saudi Arabia? The kingdom unveils $7.8 billion plan

The country plans to host more than 120 million visitors in 2030

Will the upcoming Expo 2030 be in Saudi Arabia? The kingdom unveils $7.8 billion plan
[Source photo: Twitter/Riyadh Expo 2030 | Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East ]

World Expo is a massive event that can generate revenue, jobs, and global attention – and if everything goes well, it could be in Saudi Arabia.

Putting on the biggest marketing push, the country has allocated $7.8 billion for the event, which includes building a massive public transit network and major parks. For Saudi Arabia, hosting the Expo would boost the push to diversify its oil-dominated economy and attract more foreign investment.

This week, chaired by H.H. Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Saudi delegation presented the kingdom’s vision for Riyadh Expo 2030 at the 172nd General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions.

Khalid Al Falih, Saudi Minister of Investment, announced that Saudi had allotted $7.8 billion to support the hosting of Expo 2030 under the theme The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow, from October 1, 2030, to March 31, 2031.

Prince Faisal indicated the country’s distinct geographical location as a hub linking north with south and east with west, and from which the kingdom seeks to build partnerships with international companies and enhance its global status through collective efforts and cooperation with friendly countries.

“We are confident of our ability to deliver an unprecedented experience to the world, with persistent ambition and dedication through government and across the whole of society,” said Prince Faisal.

The prince also noted the kingdom’s bid to host Expo 2030 is demonstrated in the theme, which includes agenda items on welfare for all and climate action. Some of its programs include the allocation of $343 million to support 100 countries in pavilion construction, maintenance, technical support, travel, events, and more.

Ibrahim bin Muhammad Al Sultan, CEO of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, asserted Saudi’s commitment to finalizing the Expo 2030 hosting site in advance of specified deadlines. “By 2028, all preparations for hosting Expo 2030 will be ready, and we plan to host more than 120 million visitors in 2030,” Al Sultan said, noting that the Expo site relies on clean energy and adheres to environmental standards.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, Princess Reema bint Bandar, commented on Saudi’s dedication to organizing the most exceptional Expo conference in its history. Princess Reema also added that a special visa will be offered to individuals attending Expo 2030 in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also attended the kingdom’s official reception to support Riyadh’s bid to host the World Expo in 2030 in Paris. It highlighted Riyadh’s readiness to host the Expo, including its plans and projects.

Besides Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh, other cities vying to host Expo 2030 include Korea’s Busan and Italy’s Rome.

In November 2023, member states will elect the host country of World Expo 2030 through a secret ballot on the principle of one country, one vote.

The most recent Expo 2020 Dubai received over 24 million visits under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.’ Research indicates that one year after the closing of World Expo 2020 Dubai, the economic impact of the Expo is expected to contribute a total of $42.1 billion of gross value added to the economy of the UAE in the period from 2013 to 2042.

The next World Expo will take place in Osaka, Japan, in 2025.

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