Saudi Arabia's successful bid to host a series of major international events from 2023 to 2034 has stirred national pride and international attention. The Kingdom's victories include the FIFA Club World Cup in 2023, the FEI World Cup Jumping Final in 2024, the Asian Indoor Games in 2025, the AFC Asian Cup in 2027, the Asian Winter Games in 2029, the World Expo in 2030, the Asian Summer Games in 2034, and potentially the FIFA World Cup in 2034.
Victory in Paris
The crowning achievement was securing the prestigious 2030 World Expo. Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, won a decisive victory in Paris, beating out competition from South Korea's Busan and Italy's Rome. The Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) organized the vote, with Riyadh securing the endorsement of delegates from 119 countries. This was more than two-thirds of the total votes, eliminating the need for a second round of balloting.
A Triumph Amid Controversy
The victory was not without controversy. French President Emmanuel Macron had declared his support for the Saudi candidacy, a move that drew criticism from some EU countries and NGOs campaigning against human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. Despite these objections, the Saudi delegation's pledge for an Expo 'built by the world for the world' proved persuasive.
Significance of the Victories
These successful bids are seen as a significant achievement for Saudi Arabia, reflecting a commitment to global engagement and the capacity to host world-class events. The victories are celebrated under the hashtag #OurPrideAndJoy_AbuSalman, a clear nod to the leadership's role in these accomplishments. The securing of these events signifies the Kingdom's rising status as a global player in various fields, from sports to culture, and further cements its position on the world stage.