Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was keen to personally participate in the Kingdom’s official reception for Riyadh’s bid to host Expo 2030, which was held on Monday evening in Paris, sending a message about the importance Saudi Arabia is giving to organizing the world’s most prominent trade event.
Saudi Arabia has allocated a budget of about $7.3 billion to host Expo 2030 in the capital, Riyadh, distributed $5.85 billion for capital expenditures and $1.47 billion for operating expenses, according to the candidacy proposal published by local media.
Monday’s reception was an important part of the nomination process for countries to host the exhibition. It came on the eve of The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) on Tuesday, which aims to familiarize representatives of 179 member states with Riyadh’s readiness and plans and projects to host the exhibition.
The General Assembly will hear the detailed nomination dossiers submitted by four competing countries, in preparation for a vote to select the host city for the event at the next General Assembly meeting in November 2023.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, Italy, South Korea and Ukraine are competing to host the exhibition in Rome, Busan and Odessa.
Riyadh expects Expo 2030 to attract about 21.7 million visitors, of whom 11.7 million will need to stay in hotels and furnished units, which the Kingdom is keeping pace with, building 190,000 new hotel rooms to 2030, which will contribute to doubling the number of rooms in the capital specifically to 124,000 by the date of the event.
Expo Riyadh will be held over an area of 6 million square meters, five minutes from King Khalid International Airport.
Riyadh is working on developing 6 metro lines covering the city and linking the Expo site and airport, in addition to working to raise the capacity of King Salman International Airport to 150 million passengers by 2030.
Also supporting the city is the establishment of Riyad Air to connect 100 destinations around the world by 2030, and the launch of 68 initiatives with investments reaching $92 billion to make Riyadh one of the most sustainable cities in the world.
The Saudi Crown Prince toured an exhibition held by the Royal Commission for Riyadh City showcasing the rich heritage and culture of Saudi Arabia, and the cultural depth of the Kingdom and its capital.
The exhibition took visitors on a virtual journey in Riyadh in 2030, starting from arrival at King Salman International Airport and then touring highlights such as the Boulevard Sports, King Salman Park and Diriyah Gate.
On Monday evening, the crown prince met with BIE Secretary-General Dimitri Kerkentzes. During the meeting, they reviewed Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the Riyadh Expo 2030, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The reception on Monday was attended by a high-level Saudi delegation, members of the Paris-based international diplomatic corps, ambassadors of countries accredited to UNESCO, representatives of participating key entities and projects, representatives of BIE member states, and senior officials. This is in addition to officials in the French government and the private sector.
Expo 2030 will coincide with the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. This will make the Riyadh Expo an opportunity to examine the impact of the results of this plan on achieving global goals over the next twenty years.
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