Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh selected to host World Expo in 2030
The Expo 2030 world’s fair will be held in Riyadh in another hosting victory for a Gulf country after Qatar put on football’s World Cup last year.
South Korea’s Busan and Italy’s Rome were also in the running to host the world’s fair, a once-every-five-year event that attracts millions of visitors and billions of dollars in investment.
Saudi Arabia’s capital won 119 votes, Busan 29 and Rome 17, results from 182 members of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) showed on Tuesday. Saudi Arabia needed to garner two-thirds of the votes to win in the first round.
The Italian contestants were scathing in their criticism of the result.
“This huge result for Saudi was unexpected in those proportions,” Giampiero Massolo, head of the Italian Expo bid, told reporters. “It is no longer about the merits but about transactions.”
“Yesterday it was a soccer championship. Tomorrow it will be the Olympics,” he added.
Saudi Arabia, as the only declared candidate, is set to host the 2034 World Cup and is also planning an Olympics bid.