(CTN News) – Riyadh will host the Expo 2023, making it the second Gulf country to hold a major event after Qatar hosted the World Cup last year.
The World’s fair occurs every five years and draws millions of people and billions of dollars in investment. Rome, Italy, and Busan, South Korea, were also contenders to host the event.
Out of 182 Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) members, 119 went to the Saudi capital, 29 to Busan, and 17 to Rome on Tuesday.In the first round, Saudi Arabia had to get 61% of the vote to be victorious.
When asked about the outcome, the Italian competitors were very critical.
Expo 2030 Win – A Milestone in Mohammed bin Salman’s Ambitious Vision
“This enormous outcome for Saudi was unexpected in those dimensions,” Giampiero Massolo, who headed Italy’s campaign for the Expo, told reporters. “The focus has shifted from merits to transactions.”
A soccer championship was held yesterday. “The Olympics will be tomorrow,” he added.
In addition to preparing to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup, Saudi Arabia has also announced its intention to bid for the 2036 Summer Olympics.
Cristiano Ronaldo, a football player for the Al Nassr club in Riyadh, was hired by the capital to influence the BIE members with a film that was screened prior to the vote. From October 2030 through March 2031, the city has offered to hold the event.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious Vision 2030 program seeks to wean the country off its dependence on oil, and this victory is the cherry on top of it.
“We had an amazing group of ministers traveling the globe, actively engaging with our international partners to learn about their expectations, goals, and the things we needed to accomplish to earn their confidence,” stated Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.
After the 2018 murder of famous Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi by a team of Saudi operatives, critics stated that the crown prince wanted to utilize the expo to boost his country’s image.