More than 160 nations cast their votes in Paris and select the Saudi capital as the site for the 2030 world’s fair
Riyadh has won the bid to host Expo 2030, as Saudi Arabia swept the votes during a general assembly session in Paris of the organising committee for the world’s fair.
The Saudi city overcame competitors Rome and Busan, winning 119 votes from more than 160 member states of the Bureau International des Expositions in Paris on Tuesday.
The vote count marked the end of a more than two-year campaign by Saudi Arabia, Italy and South Korea that drew on the support of international athletes, pop stars and actors to popularise their message.
This will be the first Expo held in the country and the second for the Middle East and North Africa region after Expo 2020 was held in Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, was among the first to congratulate Saudi Arabia on being selected to host the world's fair.
"The joy of the Saudi people is our joy," said Sheikh Mohammed, state news agency Wam reported.
"Their success is our success, and their hosting of the world in 2030 is a win for us, for our Gulf, and for our region. Congratulations to Saudi Arabia."
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan paid tribute to the backing his nation had received when he thanked 130 countries for their support during his speech.
“I would like to acknowledge and thank the 130 countries that have already announced their support for the kingdom’s bid,” he said during Saudi Arabia's final presentation.
Prince Faisal said the vision of Riyadh Expo 2030 was to collaborate with all nations to build “an Expo built by the world for the world”, delivering on promises of opportunity, inclusivity, accessibility and sustainability.