(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia was awarded another global event on Tuesday with its selection to host the 2030 World Expo as the oil-rich kingdom looks to boost tourism and transform its austere reputation.
The capital, Riyadh, with 119 votes, comfortably beat out South Korea’s Busan and Rome, the Bureau International des Expositions in Paris said in a post on X Tuesday. South Korea received 29 votes and Italy 17.
The international fair, held every five years, will run in Saudi Arabia from October 2030 to March 2031. It will be the second time that the event has been held in the Middle East after Dubai hosted the pandemic-delayed Expo 2020.
The Saudi government has said it planned to spend $7.8 billion to stage the Expo if it succeeded with its bid, which was themed “The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow.”
Saudi Arabia is also expected to be chosen as the site for the 2034 FIFA World Cup after its bid was unopposed, and will host the 2029 Asian Winter Games at a mountain resort in Neom, an entirely new $500 billion development in the north-west of the country.