The Saudi capital Riyadh won the bid to host the World Expo 2030 on Tuesday, dominating a competitive race against cities like Italy’s Rome and South Korea’s Busan. The major decision was made by the Bureau International des Expositions in Paris which is made up of 182 member countries and Saudi Arabia managed to nab 119 of the 165 votes in its favor.
This is considered a major victory for the crown prince of the Kingdom, Mohammed Bin Salman, as the year that the Expo is planned to be held also marks the year when the crown prince’s plan to diversify the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy, “Vision 2030,” is meant to conclude.
“The Saudis are determined to have a big coming-out party in 2030 to show the success of their vision,” said Kristin Diwan, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.
For its bid, the Kingdom unveiled a massive campaign that places a major spotlight on all the futuristic mega projects that the crown prince has planned including a giant cube-shaped structure that is said to be “a gateway to another world.”
The highly anticipated Riyadh Expo is set to take place from October 2030 to March 2031 and will be held under the theme, ‘The Era Of Change: Together For A Foresighted Tomorrow.’ The Kingdom also announced that it will allocate 7.8 billion dollars to host the event. Along with the Expo, the Kingdom also succeeded in securing other major events including the 2029 Asian Winter Games as well as the 2034 World Cup.