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$7.8bn of Saudi investments lined up for Expo 2030 bid

Saudi Arabia Expo 2030 Saudi Press Agency
Saudi investment minister Khalid Al-Falih said that Expo 2030 would create an opportunity “in line with the investment environment in Saudi Arabia, which knows no limits"
  • Riyadh up against Rome, Busan and Odesa to host event
  • EY report claims Dubai Expo 2020 was worth $42.1bn
  • Saudi win would boost events, hospitality and construction sectors

Saudi Arabia has allocated $7.8 billion worth of investments to its bid to host Expo 2030.

“The budget of $7.8 billion is catalytic to our broader Riyadh investment plan,” said Khalid al-Falih, the kingdom’s investment minister.

He was speaking on Tuesday at the 172nd General Assembly meeting of the Bureau International des Expositions, the organisation responsible for the World Expo. 

Al-Falih said that Expo 2030 would create an opportunity “in line with the investment environment in Saudi Arabia, which knows no limits”. 

The Saudi bid aligns with its Vision 2030 diversification plan which is targeting $3.3 trillion worth of investment by the end of the decade, 30 percent of which would be in the city of Riyadh, Al-Falih said. 

Tourism is a key pillar of Vision 2030 with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, Princess Reema bint Bandar, noting that a special visa will be provided to individuals attending Expo 2030 in the capital.

A high level Saudi delegation, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, hosted an official reception in Paris on Monday, during which senior ministers and officials presented their plan for the Expo.  

It includes a public transit network, a park and a proposal to turn Riyadh into an open art gallery without walls, said Fahd Al Rasheed, CEO of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City. 

The World Expo will run from October 2030 through to March 2031 at a purpose-built complex covering an area of 6 million square metres, under the theme “The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow.” 

The winning Expo 2030 bid will be announced in November

It officially submitted its bid last October and is competing with Rome in Italy, Busan in South Korea, and Odesa in Ukraine. 

Ukraine is still holding out hope to host the event, which would boost its war-ravaged economy. 

The winner will be announced in November. 

A report issued in March from consultancy firm EY claimed the overall legacy of Dubai hosting the 2020 World Expo will reach AED154.9 billion ($42.1 billion) – with the calculation based from the time of the successful bid to host Expo in 2013 through to 2042.

The events sector – at AED75.5 billion ($20.6 billion) – is forecast to contribute the most gross value add to the UAE’s economy across that 29-year time period.

Other sectors to reap the benefits of the international event include construction (AED31.9 billion) and restaurants and hotels (AED23.1 billion).

It is also expected to support the full-time equivalent of approximately 1.39 million job-years, equal to more than 35,000 jobs per annum in the UAE over the same period.