Saudi Arabia has presented a ‘strong’ case to host World Expo 2030, Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) Secretary General said as the delegation concluded its evaluation visit to Riyadh.
The BIE’s Enquiry Mission had arrived last week in Riyadh in a visit that aimed to evaluate the country’s proposal to host the Expo.
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During its stay in Riyadh, the delegation met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and held meetings with several ministers and officials who explained more about the Kingdom’s candidacy.
The delegation also visited the proposed Riyadh Expo 2030 site and was introduced to the high-tech public transport system that is at the heart of the city’s infrastructure plan.
“I wanted to let you know that we have seen a strong project from the very top. [Starting with] His Royal Highness, all the way down to government, every minister and every member of Saudi Arabia that we have met and have spoken to, all have an incredible support for this project,” Dimitri Kerkentzes said at the end of the visit during a news conference, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Sunday.
“There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia and Riyadh have everything needed to host the successful Expo.”
Kerkentzes said that the development Riyadh is witnessing plays an important role in making Saudi Arabia a competitive candidate for Expo. He noted that the expansion of the city’s infrastructure is an essential element “which perfectly serves the needs of such an Expo” should the Kingdom be chosen.
Saudi Arabia officially submitted its comprehensive application file in a bid to host the World Expo 2030 in Riyadh in September 2022.
The Kingdom aims to host the World Expo in Riyadh from October 1, 2030 till March 31, 2031 under the theme “The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow.”
Starting with Saudi Arabia, the mission will visit the three other candidates competing to organize the Expo including Ukraine, Republic of Korea, and Italy, according to BIE’s website.
The examination phase is a must for each of the four candidate countries to be considered for election.
The host country of World Expo 2030 will be elected by BIE Member States, through a secret ballot, on the principle of one country, one vote during the BIE General Assembly in November 2023.
During the news conference, Chairperson of the Enquiry Mission and President of the BIE Administration and Budget Committee Patrick Specht thanked Saudi Arabia for its great hospitality during the delegation’s visit.
“We had the great honor to meet His Royal Highness, which was one of the main highlights of our mission,” Specht said, SPA reported. “We were shown what the country is capable of, and the country and the city have everything we asked about.”
For his part, the CEO of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City Fahd al-Rasheed thanked the mission for its efforts and underscored the Kingdom’s readiness to host the World Expo.
“Our candidacy is strong, as we have met all technical requirements, and have garnered unprecedented international support to host the Riyadh Expo 2030,” al-Rasheed said.
“We will present an exceptional edition of the Riyadh Expo 2030, where we expect to achieve unprecedented attendance: 40 million site visits, and a billion visitors through the Metaverse, a first in the history of World Expo exhibitions.”
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