Riyadh beats South Korea's Busan to host World Expo 2030

Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia has won the hosting role of the Expo 2023 World Fair. It is another victory for a gulf country after winning the Soccer World Cup in the last year in Qatar. Busan and Rome were also on the list to host the 5-yearly event that attracts visitors from all over the world and billions of dollars of investment. According to the reports from the International des Expositions, Riyadh won the title with 119 votes, whereas Rome got 17 and Busan 29. 

Giampiero Massalo, the head of the Italian Expo bid stated that the result was unexpected and is not based on the merits but on the transactions. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol appreciated Riyadh for winning the title and described the state ‘a key partner’. He added that South Korea would provide the resources and experience to assist Riyadh in hosting a successful event. Riyadh enlisted Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for the Al-Nassa Saudi club, to make other members understand and become convinced. The event is planned to be hosted between October 2030 and March 2031. 

Riyadh’s victory is an advantage for de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his Vision 2030 program, which aims to stop oil dependency. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said that the government has a wonderful team of ministers working with their counterparts actively to recognize their expectations, needs, and their capabilities. Critics believe that Prince Mohammed will use the event to enhance the image of the country after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, which is believed that doneaccording to the prince’s order. Saudi had won the French support and it is said that French support was for Saudi’s help on other issues in French diplomatic priorities.

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