Saudi Arabia’s bid to host Expo 2030

الاثنين - 03 يوليو 2023

Mon - 03 Jul 2023

During the recent diplomatic visit to France, Saudi Arabia presented a compelling proposition to host Expo 2030. This pivotal component was central to the agenda of the Saudi Crown Prince, Prince Mohammed bin Salman. HH made it a point to emphasize the unwavering support of the Saudi leadership for the hosting bid and shed light on the strengths and distinctive features of the Saudi proposal. However, the Saudi bid faces stiff competition from Italy and South Korea.

In my opinion, one of the key factors contributing to the strength and appeal of the Saudi hosting bid is the fervor exhibited by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Under his guidance, Saudi Arabia is spearheading a new era of growth and modernization through Vision 2030. This ambitious vision aims to establish the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a globally influential force in various cultural, economic, industrial, commercial, and sports domains, transcending its reliance on oil.

This, in itself, constitutes a key aspect of soft power, no less strong than the soft power strategy that the Italians bet on in their bid for hosting. Evidently, the Kingdom holds immense promise to assume a regional and global leadership role in facilitating a transformative shift for numerous nations and peoples. This can be accomplished by establishing a developmental model that can serve as a blueprint and be replicated by other countries aspiring to pursue a similar path of progress.

For Saudi Arabia, this hosting bid represents more than a mere display of financial and economic prowess, as some may perceive it. Rather, it serves as a tangible manifestation of the country’s journey towards development, modernization, and growth in alignment with Vision 2030.

Consequently, this exhibition and international event will form part of a broader endeavor and strategy for the Kingdom, which has earmarked $7.8 billion investment for hosting the exhibition in Riyadh, the capital city. This financial commitment is part of a comprehensive national framework of over $3.3 trillion in developmental investments allocated by Saudi Arabia by the current decade.

The Saudi hosting plan showcases a range of inventive concepts and initiatives. One notable example is the forthcoming launch of the Global Investment Lab, which will be established by Saudi Arabia and positioned as a worldwide hub for innovation. This initiative embodies the central theme of the exhibition, “The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow.”

What truly impresses me about the Saudi efforts, meticulous planning, and visionary initiatives is their integration within an interconnected system of policies. Each element serves a purpose and complements the others, all stemming from a clear and well-defined strategic vision, leaving onlookers astonished by the Kingdom’s rapid development.

Having personally witnessed parts of the Saudi presentation, I was captivated by the seamless fusion of tradition and modernity. The presentation beautifully encapsulated the spirit of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its ambitious aspirations for the future. This aspect alone sets it apart from its formidable competitors, namely Italy and South Korea.

Furthermore, the Saudi bid boasts a plethora of other advantages, particularly in terms of hosting and organization, areas where I believe other competing bids cannot rival the Kingdom’s. The Kingdom has honed its expertise in welcoming over three million pilgrims annually at a single location, accumulating invaluable experience in successfully hosting major international events.

Furthermore, Vision 2030 strives to catalyze a paradigm shift in the tourism sector of Saudi Arabia. This ambitious vision entails the establishment of world-class cities and tourist destinations that will be operational within a few years. Noteworthy projects include NEOM, Red Sea Project, Diriyah, King Salman Park, and Riyadh Art, alongside ambitious initiatives in the realms of sports, culture, and entertainment. The collective objective of these endeavors is to attract over 145 million tourists annually by 2030, with religious tourism accounting for a mere 42 million of that total.

Undeniably, the aspirations embodied by Vision 2030 and the comprehensive Saudi development plans indicate that not only the Kingdom itself but the entire region is poised for a leap forward by 2030. This leap will have profound and positive ripple effects at the regional level, fostering healthy competition and inspiring others to strive for progress and development. This will assume a crucial role in fostering security, stability, coexistence, and openness, while vehemently rejecting extremism, hatred, and terrorism, not only within the region but globally as well.

Saudi Arabia stands as a pioneer among the emerging Middle Eastern powerhouses, and the world at large endorses this bold trajectory of transformation. The international community recognizes the Kingdom’s esteemed position, influence, and how this transformative journey will impact the entire region.

Hence, I hold firm in my belief that Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the prestigious global event, Expo 2030, will garner substantial international support during the scheduled voting process in November, with the participation of approximately 179 countries.

Expo 2030 serves as a momentous international collaborative platform, and its rightful location lies within the city of Riyadh. The capital vows to offer an unparalleled experience of collective collaboration to the entire world.