Saudi Arabia to Host 2030 World Expo

( – The capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh won the vote to host the 2030 World Expo at a French conference on Tuesday, November 28th. The 165-member conference of the Bureau International des Expositions voted a majority of 119 for Riyadh to host the expo. Rome and Busan were also competing for the opportunity.

The delegation from Saudi Arabia erupted with cheers after the announcement was made. Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the vote was a sign of trust from the international community and suggested their vision would benefit all the nations of the world. He further added they hold themselves to live up to expectations and present “an extraordinary expo” in 2030.

The contest to win votes featured delegations from each nation crafting a vision for the expo which they communicated to the Paris-based Bureau. The winning city anticipates 40 million people in tourist traffic as well as international renown and investment capital.

Saudi Arabia deployed an extensive ad campaign across Paris, they notably received a public endorsement from French President Emmanuel Macron. Critics opposed Riyadh being included due to the Kingdom’s regular violation of human rights. They specifically cited the 2018 killing of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi which was attributed to Saudi agents acting on orders from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Prince hailed the win as a chance to expand development in the city.

Rome recruited actor Russell Crowe and featured him appearing in a promo where he echoed his Gladiator character. Rome’s campaign boasted a huge solar park and green corridor that would connect the site of the Expo to the Appian Way, a historical landmark and one of the oldest roads in existence.

Busan is a port city in South Korea and their delegation featured a futuristic vision featuring AI advances and 6G technology. They recruited K-pop boy band BTS and other musical celebrities to bolster their bid. They hoped that hosting the event would spur job creation and draw tourists to the city.

The World Expo traditionally showcases advances in technology and culture. They’ve been held roughly every 5 years since the first one in 1851. Past events introduced the light bulb, the Ferris wheel, and the Eiffel Tower.

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