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2030 World Expo Awarded to Saudi Arabia Over South Korea and Italy

Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh has won a tense bidding war for the right to host the 2030 World Expo, beating out rival bids from Rome and the South Korean port city of Busan.

The vote by delegates of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions was a big win for the Middle East kingdom’s drive to expand its economy and its international profile beyond its vast oil riches. The diversification drive is being spearheaded by the kingdom’s hard-charging de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Riyadh obtained 119 of the 165 delegate votes for the rights to host the event, expected to draw millions of visitors from around the globe, The Associated Press reported.

Past expos, dating back to the storied first gathering in London in 1851, have often been potent engines for technological and cultural advances, as well as an opportunity for the host nation to showcase its own attractions and industry.

Past expositions expos have been credited with inspiring or popularizing such groundbreaking inventions as the light bulb, the Ferris wheel and the Eiffel Tower, which was built for the 1889 exposition in Paris.

Expositions take a number of years to organize. The next World Expo will be held in Osaka, Japan, in 2025.



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