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Riyadh Emerges Victorious in Bid to Host World Expo 2030

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Hadeel Hashem
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Riyadh Emerges Victorious in Bid to Host World Expo 2030

Celebrations are in full swing in the heart of Paris, with the festivities tied to Saudi Arabia's successful bid to host the World Expo 2030. This global event, tracing its history back to the 1851 Great Exhibition in London and the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris, is a prestigious platform for nations to showcase their achievements and foster international relationships. Winning the hosting rights is a significant honor, and for Riyadh, it represents a substantial economic opportunity.

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Victory Amidst Competition

On November 28, 2023, Riyadh, the Saudi capital, emerged victorious against rival bids from Italy and South Korea to host the 2030 World Expo. This win is a result of a vigorous campaign marked by diplomatic offensives, opulent events, and investment proposals to other countries. The World Expo is indeed a big-money opportunity to generate cash, create jobs, and cause a global buzz.

Riyadh Expo 2030: The Era of Change

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The Riyadh Expo, scheduled from October 2030 to March 2031, will be themed 'The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow.' This theme resonates with the key milestone in the Vision 2030 program of MBS to diversify Saudi Arabia economically and culturally. The Saudi plans include a major public transit network and a futuristic, round space with public parks, E-game facilities, large-scale performance stages, and sport venues. The project emphasizes 'accelerating innovations' to preserve natural ecosystems, reflecting Riyadh's bid that focused on shaping a prosperous and sustainable future.

Controversies Amidst Celebrations

However, the victory came amidst controversies. Many rights groups expressed dismay over Saudi Arabia winning the bid, arguing that MBS's glitzy reform drives hide a reality where dissidents are imprisoned and executions are rampant. But Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan pledged an 'unwavering commitment to collaborate with all nations to deliver an Expo built by the world for the world.'

With the World Expo 2030 now set to take place in Riyadh, it symbolizes not just a victory for Saudi Arabia, but also a massive opportunity for the nation to showcase its culture, innovations, and vision for a sustainable future to the world. The hashtag #RiyadhExpo2030 signifies the ongoing efforts and the active campaign by Riyadh to prepare for the momentous occasion.

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