Saudi Arabia's Riyadh has won the right to host the 2030 World Expo, vote results showed, in another diplomatic victory for a Gulf country after the Qatar football World Cup last year.
South Korea's Busan and Italy's Rome were also in the running to host the world fair, a five-yearly event that attracts millions of visitors and billions of dollars in investment.
Riyadh won 119 votes, Busan 29 and Rome 17, results from 182 members of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) showed on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia needed to garner two-thirds of the votes to win from the first round.
Ronaldo convinces members
Riyadh had enlisted football star Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for the Al Nassr Saudi club, to convince members in a video projected before the vote.
The Saudi capital has proposed to host the event between October 2030 and March 2031.
The win is the icing on the cake for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030 programme, which aims to wean the country off its oil dependency.
The World Expo - which traces its history back to the 1851 Great Exhibition in London and the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris that saw the construction of the Eiffel Tower - is a months-long showcase event attracting millions of visitors that aims to respond to the specific challenges of the current time.
Source: TRT World
BDST: 1024 HRS, NOV 29, 2023