Riyadh is waiting for the world to “predict the future” at “Expo 2030”
The future goals of the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on top of which is the transformation of the city from 40th place to one of the 10 largest city economies in the world, and the level of achievement revealed by official figures in this context so far, indicates that the possibility of Saudi Arabia’s success in persuading the remaining 170 countries to vote for Its candidacy to host Expo 2030 seems very likely, after it captured the largest share of the vote so far with about 90 countries until the end of last week, amid the competition of 3 other countries in the candidacy file, which are South Korea (Busan), Italy (Rome), and Ukraine ( Odessa), although all the details of the file will not be revealed until December.
The “Expo” is a global event that is no less important than other international events, which the country is competing to host, or has already hosted, due to the fact that it is dedicated to finding solutions to the basic challenges facing humanity, and it enjoys through the most prominent feature that it brings together 170 countries with millions of visitors under one roof. , which is the same thing that lies in the challenge among all the candidate files.
The exceptionality of hosting Expo 2030 for Riyadh lies in several factors, the most important of which is that the exhibition will coincide with the year of achieving the country’s main development vision, “Vision 2030”.
Major topics to serve humanity
Saudi Arabia raises 3 main topics in its main file, directly related to the present and future of humanity, which makes Riyadh hosting the exhibition beneficial, regardless of its merit, as seen by many observers and officials.
The first topic, “A Better Tomorrow,” discusses innovations in science and technology, and their future opportunities that transform the world. In order to enhance resilience in the face of challenges and serve humanity.
While the second topic discusses “climate action” with the aim of advancing innovation through international cooperation in order to preserve the ecosystem and natural resources, spread sustainable solutions, preserve and restore environmental systems, and clean energy.
The third topic, “Prosperity for All,” focuses on addressing global disparities and imbalances towards a more inclusive world that enhances opportunities, equality, and belonging, through the participation of each country from its cultural perspective, surrounding conditions, and aspirations.
The Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Abdullah Al-Sawaha, who expressed his country’s aspirations to host this global event, explained that the choice of the main theme for the “Riyadh Expo 2030” reflects the depth of his country’s aspirations and its full readiness to play a leading role on the global stage, in order to explore innovative solutions that contribute to Addressing the challenges facing the world, stressing that this approach “derives from our vision to make the exhibition a global platform that provides the necessary tools to design and establish plans that contribute to creating a better tomorrow.”
The first stop of the International Bureau of Exhibitions
By analogy, the speech of the Secretary-General of the International Bureau of Exhibitions, Dmitry Kirkentzes, stands out during the visit of the International Bureau delegation to Riyadh to see the readiness of the Saudi capital and its infrastructure to host the event – which is the first stop of the International Bureau of Exhibitions mission among the four candidate cities – considering the delegation’s visit as a limitation Itself is a “unique experience” during which you get to know not only Saudi Arabia “but also its people, their aspirations and future aspirations.” as described.
“I think when you hear me say that; You understand that we see the Expo, in 2030, perfectly fitting with the program that we looked at this week, and the march of Saudi development over the past few years, and we saw that the project enjoys great support from the Crown Prince, all sectors of the state, and everyone we saw in Saudi Arabia and we spoke To him,” concluding with an initial conclusion: “We found that the Expo project is very compatible with the development plans for the city of Riyadh and Saudi Arabia (…) There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia and the city of Riyadh have all the ingredients to host this global forum.”
The idea of Saudi Arabia hosting major events in itself is a case that has become characteristic of the country in recent years, as it has witnessed rapid growth in the principle of the “hospitality industry”, since it opened its doors to international visitors, seeking to consolidate its position on the global tourism map, as it received 67 million Visitors from all over the world during the year 2022 only, according to official figures, and the target is 100 million visitors by the year of Vision 2030.
Efforts to promote tourism stand out as a major part of the “economy diversification strategy” that Saudi Arabia is witnessing as the main title of its development vision “Vision 2030”, and the “electronic visa” system that was launched earlier played a role in the march of people from all over the world to learn about the country’s ancient history. And enjoying the picturesque landscapes, and experiencing the hospitality and hospitality of its people, which is considered an exceptional case in the country’s authentic society, especially since it was decided – in the event that Riyadh wins hosting the Expo – that the exhibition will be held during the usual tourism season during the period from October 2030 to April. (April) of the following year 2031.
Riyadh enjoys a thriving cultural and heritage tourism sector with a world heritage site listed on the UNESCO list and more than 1,000 accommodation facilities. tourism.
The registration of more than 40 million visits to the site of the “Riyadh Expo 2030” exhibition, as nominated by those in charge of the file, will be an unprecedented achievement in the Middle East, as “Expo 2020 Dubai” was able to attract 24 million visits over a period of six months.
Infrastructure that evolves with age
Regardless of the winning of the Riyadh file to host Expo 2030, the Saudi capital has been living in the shadow of a workshop that has been in place since recent years, and the number of factories in it has approached 4 thousand factories, to form a natural extension of the city’s history that preserves much of the legacy, heritage and transformations of the Saudi state – especially After King Salman bin Abdulaziz assumed responsibility for it – over the past five decades, with expectations of a steady increase in infrastructure development projects and capital spending in the city of Riyadh during the next seven years, in conjunction with the opening of more than 50 medium-large projects, like many other projects. Existing projects today, the largest of which is (King Salman Park), in addition to projects such as “Green Riyadh”, “Riyadh Art”, “Sports Track”, and the new square development project, which represents the world’s largest modern “downtown” in the city of Riyadh.
Observers are betting that the major projects taking place in Riyadh are the most important features that qualify the region beyond winning hosting the Expo, such as the “cube” icon in the new Square project, which will embody a global cultural symbol for the city with its unique design and its inclusion of the latest innovative technologies. It is the first interactive destination of its kind in the world, and it will add more than 19 square kilometers to the area of Riyadh, with a floor area of more than two million square meters.
In addition to the central location of the Saudi capital, where Riyadh is connected to half of the world’s population through less than 6 hours of flight, the continuously developing infrastructure, and the levels of security and safety witnessed in the country in general.
The Capital Secretariat aims to improve, renew and rehabilitate
Faisal Al-Osaimi, Assistant Undersecretary for Infrastructure Projects in the Riyadh Municipality, stressed the centrality of the strategic initiatives of the Riyadh Municipality in the future of the region in the short and long term, the most important of which are: “Improvement and urban renewal of residential neighborhoods, rehabilitation of service facilities in the city, rehabilitation and linking of environmental sites such as King Salman Park with paths Pedestrians in the neighboring neighborhoods, improving the urban environment, developing and rehabilitating squares and squares in the neighborhoods of Riyadh, in order for Riyadh to be one of the 10 largest economic cities in the world by 2030.
Economics reveals progress
According to the former CEO of the Royal Commission for the City of Riyadh, Fahd Al-Rasheed, “Riyadh’s contribution to the non-oil GDP of Saudi Arabia jumped, within one year, to 50 percent by the end of 2021, after it was less than 30 percent for years until 2020.” This figure highlights Riyadh’s superiority over 150 countries in terms of gross domestic product, according to indicators.
Riyadh has become a leading regional business center and a destination for international companies. As of last October, more than 70 major international companies have issued licenses to move their regional headquarters to Riyadh, according to a bulletin of the Ministry of Investment.
And in 2020, Riyadh became the first digital capital in the Arab world, an achievement that officials attributed to the city’s drive towards automation and digitization of its public and private services.
Within the framework of “the return of the Expo to Europe,” Western commentators described those in charge of the Rome and Odessa files as “thinking in a way that delays serving their nominated files,” commenting on the speech of Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni during her visit to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, last February, when she said “The return of the Expo to Europe would be an important signal and we should try to think about how we can work together” – you mean the Rome files in Italy and Odessa in Ukraine.
And given that Italy had previously hosted the “Milan Expo 2015” exhibition, and the system of the International Bureau of Exhibitions requires that no country organize the same exhibition within 15 years, in addition to Russia’s official withdrawal in May of last year, it is expected that competition will be limited between Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
An honorable history in the “Expo” exhibitions
Saudi Arabia also enjoys an honorable reputation in the history of the “Expo” after the Saudi Pavilion won the Best Pavilion award at Expo 2020 Dubai in the category of large suites, and it also won the honorary award in the category of best exterior design, and the honorary award in the category of best presentation, to add these awards For the previous achievements of the pavilion, as it was awarded the platinum certificate in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED system from the US Green Building Council (USGBC), and it also won three records in the Guinness Book of Records, the largest interactive light floor, and the longest water curtain Interactive 32 meters long, and the largest interactive digital screen mirror with an area of more than 1240 square meters, according to the evaluation of an international panel of design, marketing and events experts for EXHIBITOR magazine, which is the main evaluator of Expo exhibitions.
The Saudi pavilion had attracted the attention of visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai since its inception in October 2021, providing a distinct visitor experience during which visitors moved to the country’s past, present and future through an impressive journey, in which technology mixed with knowledge and creative arts that reflect what has arrived. Saudi Arabia has growth and prosperity in all fields, so that the pavilion reaps a record number of visits by reaching nearly 5 million visitors of various nationalities, which represents more than 23 percent of the total number of visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai, as the highest visitor rate in the history of exhibitions. International Expo.