Saudi Arabia’s capital secures a resounding victory in the bid for the prestigious World Expo, leaving Busan and Rome behind in the race for 2030.
In a decisive victory, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, emerged as the host for the 2030 World Expo, triumphing over contenders Busan, South Korea, and Rome, Italy. The announcement came following a ballot held by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris, the international body overseeing the prestigious event.
During the final presentations of their proposals, Riyadh garnered an impressive 119 votes in the first round of voting, surpassing the two-thirds majority required to win without a runoff. In contrast, Busan received 29 votes, and Rome secured 17 votes. The Saudi capital’s substantial majority led to a conclusive decision without needing a second round of voting.
The Saudi delegation celebrated the victory as the results were displayed on an electronic board in Issy-les-Moulineaux, the southwestern suburban area of Paris, where the anonymous voting took place.
— Riyadh Expo 2030 الرياض إكسبو (@Riyadh_Expo2030) November 28, 2023
Despite a last-minute push by South Korea, with Prime Minister Han Duck-soo leading the efforts, Busan couldn’t muster enough support to force a runoff. Han expressed regret, stating, “I sincerely apologize for not adequately reciprocating the support people have generously given us so far,” while emphasizing the diplomatic gains made during the global campaign.
The World Expo, renowned for fostering global innovation and cultural exchange, dates back to its inaugural event in London in 1851. The fair, spanning up to six months, involves countries constructing pavilions on the Expo site. The most recent Expo in Dubai drew over 24 million visits in six months, and the upcoming event is slated for Osaka, Japan, in 2025.