Saudi Arabia elected host country of World Expo 2030

Member States of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) today elected Saudi Arabia as host country of World Expo 2030 during the 173rd General Assembly of the Organisation.

A two-thirds majority of Member States voted for Saudi Arabia’s project to host World Expo 2030 in Riyadh under the theme “The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow”, between 1 October 2030 and 31 March 2031.

The Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Dimitri S. Kerkentzes (left) and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, H.H. Prince Faisal bin Farhan, during a press conference organised following Saudi Arabia’s election as World Expo 2030 host country

Three countries were in the running to host World Expo 2030. In addition to Saudi Arabia, the other candidates were the Republic of Korea (Busan) with the theme “Transforming Our World, Navigating Toward a Better Future” and Italy (Rome) with the theme “People and Territories: Regeneration, Inclusion and Innovation”.

Following the announcement of the election results, the Secretary General of the BIE, Dimitri S. Kerkentzes stated: “On behalf of the BIE, I offer my warm congratulations to Saudi Arabia on its election as host country of World Expo 2030. In the coming years, we look forward to working closely with Saudi Arabia to bring the world together in Riyadh under the theme, “The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow”.”

Eligible and present Member States, represented by government-appointed delegates, elected the host country in a secret ballot using electronic voting, on the principle of one country, one vote. Securing 119 votes in the first round, Saudi Arabia was elected outright, as it received the two-thirds majority required.

First round results

Republic of Korea - 29
Italy – 17
Saudi Arabia – 119
Abstentions – 0

World Expos, officially known as International Registered Exhibitions, are global gatherings of nations addressing universal challenges of our time. These unparalleled global events offer a journey inside a chosen theme through engaging and immersive activities. Taking place every five years and lasting up to six months, World Expos welcome tens of millions of visitors, allow countries to build extraordinary pavilions, and transform the host city for years to come.

The most recent World Expo, Expo 2020 Dubai, took place under the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, and received over 24 million visits. The next World Expo, Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, will take place between 13 April and 13 October 2025, under the theme “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”.