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Saudi Arabia to Unveil “The Era of Change” at World Expo 2030

Saudi 2030
image courtesy of KSA
Written by Linda Hohnholz

Riyadh is projected to receive nearly 40 million visits to the World Expo 2030 site, attracting tourists from around the world who will have the opportunity to explore Saudi Arabia’s distinctive and varied attractions, thereby stimulating the country’s tourism industry.

World Expo 2030 will be hosted by the city of Riyadh, following a historic decision made at the 173rd General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions.

Riyadh World Expo 2030, titled “The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow,” will seamlessly align with Saudi’s Vision 2030. This visionary roadmap aims to drastically reform the Kingdom, foster economic diversification, and enhance the well-being of its people.

In the first quarter of 2023, Saudi experienced a remarkable surge in tourism, positioning itself as one of the top destinations worldwide. During this period, the country witnessed an impressive 64% increase in international arrivals, securing the second-highest number globally, surpassing even the figures from 2019.

By hosting Expo 2030, the Kingdom aims to accelerate the rapid growth of the sector, showcasing its distinct and varied attractions to the global community. This initiative will not only stimulate job opportunities but also attract investments and foster trade collaborations.

The Saudi economy will experience a substantial boost from the announcement, further driving the Vision 2030 goal of making tourism the second largest contributor to the country’s GDP.

CEO and Member of the Board of Saudi Tourism, Fahd Hamidaddin said:

“Today marks an extraordinary chapter for Saudi, with our capital city, Riyadh, honored by the world as the chosen host of Expo 2030. I believe that Expo 2030 will serve as a catalyst for growth and its impact on Saudi’s tourism sector will be felt immediately. As we prepare for this iconic global showpiece, we would like to call on our trade partners to take advantage of the historic opportunities on offer, to help us drive forward sustainable growth and development within the Kingdom’s tourism sector today.”

“Today, Saudi has over 400,000 hotel rooms which will be expanded to 854,000 new rooms by 2030. Additionally, the planned development of the King Salman International Airport in Riyadh will help position the city as a world-class hub for travel and commerce, targeting an ambitious capacity of 120 million passengers within the next seven years. These developments will enhance accessibility into Riyadh and the rest of the country, ensuring a simple and seamless travel experience for all Expo attendees.”

Saudi is gearing up to host the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup, solidifying its already impressive sports and cultural lineup. Alongside attractions like the Jeddah Corniche Formula 1 circuit and the highly anticipated boxing match between Tyson Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion, and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou, Saudi is establishing itself as a prominent global hub for cultural and sporting events. The capital city, Riyadh, serves as the iconic setting for the esteemed Expo 2030, further enhancing Saudi’s status.

Additionally, the event will cover an area of 6 million square meters and showcase 246 distinct event participants.

Riyadh has been named as the host city for Expo 2030 after the successful Expo 2020 in Dubai, which attracted nearly 24 million visitors. There is also increasing anticipation for Saudi Arabia’s participation in Expo 2025, set to take place in the beautiful city of Osaka, Japan.

Since its launch in 2019, Saudi Arabia has made significant progress in promoting accessibility within its tourism sector. The country’s E-Visa program, which is now accessible in more than 59 countries, is continuously expanding and enabling effortless entry for millions of international tourists.