On November 28, the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) announced Riyadh as the host city for World Expo 2030. Riyadh won 69% of the total votes, securing 119 out of 173 votes. This victory puts Riyadh in the global spotlight, as the Expo is set to happen from October 1, 2030, to March 31, 2031.
Prime Location and Infrastructure
The Expo will unfold on a vast area exceeding six million square meters near the upcoming King Salman International Airport. This strategic location aims to facilitate swift access for air travelers, complemented by the Riyadh train network. The city’s modern road network will connect to one of the three entrances, ensuring seamless accessibility for visitors.
Vision 2030 Showcased
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in a November statement, expressed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to delivering an unparalleled Expo experience, emphasizing a focus on hospitality, tourism, and culture. Minister of Investment, Khalid Al-Falih, disclosed a substantial investment of $7.8 billion (SAR 29.3 billion) dedicated to Expo 2030.
International Support and Collaborations
The bid received widespread support from 130 countries, and Saudi Arabia pledged to provide facilities packages totaling $348 million to 100 eligible nations. The backing came from various sectors, including influential figures like Princess Lamia bint Majed and Riyadh Mayor Prince Faisal bin Abdulaziz bin Ayyaf.
Riyadh's Vibrant Energy and Sustainability Focus
The Expo’s selection is attributed to Riyadh’s vibrant energy, evident in several ongoing megaprojects. Sustainability and quality of life take center stage, with a commitment to clean mobility and renewable energy solutions. The Green Riyadh Program underscores the city’s dedication to creating green neighborhoods, increasing green coverage, and enhancing public health.
Massive Infrastructure Developments
Hosting Expo 2030 necessitates substantial infrastructure development in Riyadh. Plans include a 70,000-room capacity expansion in hotels, a metro connecting Expo City to King Salman Airport, and the establishment of Riyadh Air, the Kingdom’s new airline, set to connect to 100 countries by 2025.
Expo Village and Participant Lab
Ghida Al-Shibl, a member of the Riyadh Expo 2030 team, outlined plans for a world-class expo site. A participant lab, launching in 2025, will offer continuous support, and by February 2028, participant parcels and the expo village will be open. The Kingdom is committed to streamlining processes, including imports, visas, and regulations, to ensure a seamless experience for participants.
As Saudi Arabia begins this transformative journey, Expo 2030 in Riyadh is set to become a worldwide platform for progress, tackling pressing challenges and laying the foundation for an innovative and collaborative future.