In a landmark victory, Saudi Arabia has secured the bid to host the World Expo 2030, marking a significant triumph for the Kingdom. The win underscores the nation's growing influence and ability to attract major global events, despite facing criticism over human rights issues.
Saudi's Victory Amid Controversy
The decision arrived in favor of Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, outpacing South Korea's Busan and Italy's Rome in the race. Garnering support from 119 countries during the voting process organized by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the victory is seen as a diplomatic success for the Gulf nation. However, the decision was not without controversy. A coalition of 15 rights groups had previously urged BIE members to reject Saudi Arabia's bid due to the country's history of human rights violations.
World Expo 2030: A Global Stage for Vision 2030
The successful bid is notably significant as it coincides with the year set for the completion of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's ambitious Vision 2030 plan. The plan, aimed at diversifying Saudi Arabia's heavily oil-dependent economy, is expected to leverage the Expo as a platform to showcase the Kingdom's advancements and innovations.
The World Expo, a large international exhibition designed to display the achievements of nations, is anticipated to require extensive preparations, including infrastructure development and facility upgrades. With a budget allocation of 7.8 billion, Saudi Arabia is geared to accommodate the influx of international participants and visitors.
Implications and Anticipation
The World Expo 2030, scheduled from October 2030 to March 2031, is expected to bring substantial economic and cultural benefits to Saudi Arabia. More than just a display of nation's achievements, the Expo is a venue to foster international partnerships and collaborations.
The win for Saudi Arabia adds to its portfolio of hosting large global events, including the 2029 Asian Winter Games and the 2034 World Cup. Despite the lingering concerns and criticisms, the victory signals the world's readiness to acknowledge Saudi Arabia's growing stature on the international stage.