Saudi Arabia’s bid for Expo 2030 was, according to Fahd Al-Rasheed, the head of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, an investment in the future of the city’s citizens, residents, and visitors.
Saudi’s Vision For Expo 2030
The future of the Expo 2030 site and its significance to the community is on their minds, he said. It’s not enough to merely build it and then abandon it once it’s finished. Outside of their scope, it must be used. They have a site masterplan in place that considers the future of work, the future of education, and reskilling and incorporates that thinking into the design of the buildings.
Al-Rasheed said that the Expo 2030 infrastructure would come naturally, given the work already done regarding Crown Prince’s Vision 2030. This was said during a special fireside chat with award-winning broadcaster Emma Crosby at the CNBC pavilion on the Davos promenade on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting.
His vision for the Expo was not just about looks but also about what it would leave behind. He said that their own contribution to Expo 2030 would not be a building; it is the never before seen mass engagement.
Fahd Al-Rasheed said that it is the biggest event in the world, so they are estimating 30-40 million people to visit the site, which is great and a record. They plan to have a billion users engage with it in the metaverse and are currently working to make that a reality.
The virtual Expo would serve people who cannot afford the flight to Riyadh, but the RCRC CEO stressed that it would be more than just a digital substitute for the real thing.
Since Makkah is home to the Two Holy Mosques, which draw millions of pilgrims annually for Hajj, Saudi Arabia is used to accommodating large numbers of tourists.
Building a site of this complexity, though, won’t come cheap. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to invest a massive $8 billion to make the ambitions a reality.
In a letter dated October of last year, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman submitted the country’s candidacy to host World Expo 2030 to the Bureau International des Expositions, the international organization responsible for planning the worldwide event since its inception in 1931.
China, France, Turkey, Greece, Armenia, Cuba, and dozens of other African states, as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, have all expressed strong support for the Kingdom’s quest.
The BIE will hold a vote in November 2023 on the basis of one country, one vote, with the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Busan, South Korea, Rome, Italy, and Odesa, Ukraine, all vying for the honor of hosting Expo 2030.