The hosting of the event will mark the culmination of the Vision 2030 programme and is expected to showcase the Kingdom's achievements with a focus on hospitality, tourism and culture

Riyadh will host World Expo 2030

REUTERS/AHMED YOSRI - Fuegos artificiales y un espectáculo de luces, mientras Arabia Saudita celebra haber ganado su candidatura para albergar la Expo Mundial 2030, en Riad, Arabia Saudita, el 28 de noviembre de 2023
photo_camera REUTERS/AHMED YOSRI - Fireworks and a light show as Saudi Arabia celebrates winning its bid to host World Expo 2030, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 28, 2023

Saudi Arabia, or how to be the Mecca of global events. Riyadh will host the 2030 World Expo after beating South Korea (29 votes) and Italy (17). The Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) selected Riyadh with an absolute majority (119 votes out of 165), thus confirming the Saudi capital as the successor to Osaka in 2025 through an electronic secret ballot. 

The Expo will take place between 1 October 2030 and 31 March 2031. World Expos, officially known as Registered International Expos, are global gatherings of nations that address universal challenges of our time. World Expos are held every five years and last up to six months. They welcome tens of millions of visitors and allow countries to build unique pavilions and transform their cities. 

The Saudi proposal won the support of key French supporters. French senator Nathalie Goulet said organising the exhibition in the Saudi capital would be "the pinnacle of Vision 2030". "I would like to express my gratitude to the 130 countries that supported the Kingdom's bid," said Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan. 

AFP/GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT - Miembros de la Comisi贸n Real de Arabia Saudita para la ciudad de Riyadh, celebran en el Palacio de Congresos en Issy-les-Moulineaux, en Par铆s, el 28 de noviembre de 2023, despu茅s de ganar la sede de la Exposici贸n Mundial 2030
AFP/GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT - Members of the Saudi Arabian Royal Commission for the city of Riyadh celebrate at the Palais des Congr猫s in Issy-les-Moulineaux in Paris on November 28, 2023, after winning the bid to host World Expo 2030

He reaffirmed Saudi Arabia's firm commitment to cooperate with all countries to realise the Expo "created by the world for the world and to find new ways of joint action and cooperation". The Foreign Minister said the Saudi kingdom would offer "a package of facilities worth $348 million to a group of 100 eligible countries". 

AFP/LUDOVIC MARIN - Grand Palais Ephemere para el evento de recepci贸n de Riad 2030 para promover la candidatura de Riad para la Exposici贸n Mundial 2030, en Par铆s el 19 de junio de 2023
AFP/LUDOVIC MARIN - Grand Palais Ephemere for the Riyadh 2030 reception event to promote Riyadh's bid to host the 2030 World Expo in Paris on 19 June 2023

The campaign was backed by a variety of people, including Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister, Riyadh Mayor Adel al-Jubair, Prince Faisal bin Abdulaziz bin Ayyaf and Hopscotch PR agency chairman Frederic Bedin, and was supported by celebrities in the field. 

Other notable supporters include Princess Lamia bin Majed, secretary general of Alwaleed Charities and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, Rasha al-Khamism, vice president of the Saudi Arabian Boxing Federation, and Rob Sobhani, associate professor at Georgetown University. 

Commenting on the Saudi triumph, the Kingdom's Ambassador to UNESCO, Princess Haifa al-Mogrin, said that Expo 2030 Riyadh will be a global platform to accelerate progress on the most pressing challenges, including health and education, climate and environment, trade and investment. With several major projects underway, the city's vibrant energy puts sustainability and quality of life at the centre of all discussions. The Expo 2030 site will address these issues and provide sustainable solutions for the cities of the future, including clean mobility and renewable energy. 

AFP/GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT - El ministro de Asuntos Exteriores de Arabia Saudita, el Pr铆ncipe Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud (L) y el secretario general de la Oficina Internacional de Exposiciones (BIE), Dimitri Kerkentzes, despu茅s de celebrar una conferencia de prensa en el Palacio de Congresos de Issy-les- Moulineaux, suburbio de Par铆s, el 28 de noviembre de 2023, tras el anuncio de la Comisi贸n Real de Arabia Saudita para la ciudad de Riad de ganar la sede de la Exposici贸n Mundial 2030
AFP/GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT - Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud (L) and Secretary General of the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) Dimitri Kerkentzes after holding a press conference at the Palais des Congr猫s in Issy-les-Moulineaux, suburb of Paris, 28 November 2023, following the announcement by the Saudi Arabian Royal Commission for the city of Riyadh to win the hosting of the 2030 World Exposition

Saudi Arabia, the event paradise of the future

Reclaiming Riyadh's famous red sand desert and creating green spaces with water and trees as key elements is an important example of how to build a 'city of the future' while preserving its heritage. Saudi Arabia promotes sustainability through the Green Riyadh Programme, which aims to build connectivity, encourage people to use public transport and increase the proportion of green spaces to improve air quality. 

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the 2030 edition would be one "without precedent in history" after learning that his country had defeated rival candidates. 

Meanwhile, the America's Cup, the world's oldest and most prestigious sailing competition, which dates back to 1851, is being held in the Middle East with the help of the Saudi Arabian Sailing Federation. The second qualifying regatta will take place at Jeda Yacht Club & Marina from 29 November to 2 December. It is a state-of-the-art facility on the Red Sea that has proven its ability to host world-class events by hosting the Saudi Arabian F1 Grand Prix since its first competition in 2021. 

PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Gran Premio de Jeddah de F贸rmula 1
PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Formula 1 Jeddah Grand Prix

Jeda has also hosted the Dakar Rally, European golf men's and women's tournaments and world title fights in boxing. Therefore, the Saudi Arabian Sailing Federation and the Ministry of Sports are keen to develop water sports in the Kingdom to achieve the Vision 2030 goals of ensuring economic growth while promoting culture, entertainment and sports, boasting a stunning coastline on the Red Sea and a strategic location between the Mediterranean and Asia. 

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