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Riyadh Expo 2030 and the Saudi Vision in Action

15 December, 2023
By Al Marwan
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Riyadh Expo 2030 and the Saudi Vision in Action

Ranked alongside the Olympics and FIFA World Cup for its economic impact, the World Expo stands as a monumental global event. Following Japan's hosting in Osaka in 2025, Saudi Arabia will welcome the world in 2030, continuing the legacy of transformative Expos like those held in Milan, Italy, and Dubai, UAE. The Riyadh Expo 2030, under the theme "The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow," symbolizes Saudi Arabia's commitment to its ambitious Saudi Vision 2030. As a beacon of economic strength in the Arab world, this event is set to showcase the Kingdom's strides towards a visionary future.

Economic Milestones of Past Expos: Key Lessons Learned

Learning from previous World Expos, we see remarkable economic impacts. Milan's 2015 Expo catalyzed significant growth, creating 116,000 jobs, launching 10,000 new businesses, and generating a revenue of $16 billion. Dubai, marking the first Arab country to host this global event with Expo 2020, welcomed over 24 million visitors from around the world. The event's influence on Dubai's economy was substantial, contributing an estimated $42 billion between 2013, when its candidacy was announced, and 2022, underscoring the transformative potential of hosting the World Expo. The Saudi pavilion within Dubai Expo2020 welcomed over 4.8 million visitors, being dubbed as the most visited pavilion in the event.

Achieving Economic Resilience through Diversification

Saudi Arabia, the Arab world's largest economy with a GDP of $833.5 billion as of 2021, is actively diversifying its predominantly oil-based economy. Representing over 50% of its economic foundation, this diversification is a strategic shift towards sustainable growth. Additionally, Saudi Arabia leads the Arab region in tourism, particularly in religious pilgrimage, attracting around 18 million tourists annually. This economic evolution positions the Kingdom not only as a powerhouse in the Arab world but also as a global player in various sectors. Which is why an event such as the World Expo will drive the country’s ambition to make this shift happen as it welcomes the world in the coming few years.

Riyadh is set to welcome the world in 2030 - image courtesy of Arabian Business
Riyadh is set to welcome the world in 2030 - image courtesy of Arabian Business

Riyadh Expo 2030: Saudi's Platform for Global Change

Set to host 40 million visitors and 1 billion virtual attendees, Riyadh Expo 2030 is preparing to be a nexus for 246 participating entities, encompassing nations and international organizations. Just minutes from King Khalid International Airport, the 6 million square meter site in North Riyadh will embody the theme "The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow." With sub-themes focused on technological transformation, ecological preservation, and global prosperity, the Expo aims to address global imbalances and foster sustainable development. It aligns with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, targeting key areas such as water scarcity, clean energy, and climate action.

Riyadh Expo 2030 Masterplan and the Surge in Construction

Saudi Arabia is channeling a substantial $92 billion into Riyadh's transformation ahead of Expo 2030, aligning with the nation's broader Vision 2030 objectives. This investment will bolster sustainable city initiatives and enhance the urban landscape. The master plan for Riyadh Expo 2030, revealed in Paris, outlines an ambition for the most flexible, interactive, and sustainable Expo to date, with provisions for a zero-carbon footprint and reliance on renewable energy.

Proposed Riyadh Expo 2030 masterplan site - image courtesy of Asharq Al-Awsat
Proposed Riyadh Expo 2030 masterplan site - image courtesy of Asharq Al-Awsat

The Kingdom's construction sector is set for a boom, with Riyadh's size expected to double in the next seven years. This growth is propelled by $1 trillion worth of projects, including the world's largest passenger terminal at King Salman International Airport, aiming to place Riyadh among the world's top ten cities. The Expo itself is anticipated to spur the completion of these giga-projects, marking a period of intense development and economic transformation.

To support the extensive development plans, Saudi Arabia anticipates a surge in demand for heavy machinery, with a particular emphasis on excavators, dump trucks, bulldozers, and other construction equipment. This need stems from the various large-scale projects underway, such as NEOM, each requiring robust and reliable machinery to meet tight deadlines. The import and supply of such equipment are set to rise significantly, aligning with the uptick in construction activity. Industry stakeholders are gearing up for this increased demand, ensuring that the necessary tools are in place to support the Kingdom's ambitious infrastructure goals leading up to Expo 2030.

Al Marwan's CAT D11 bulldozer debuts at NEOM giga-project in Saudi
Al Marwan's CAT D11 bulldozer debuts at NEOM giga-project in Saudi

As Saudi Arabia advances towards Riyadh Expo 2030, the nation is on a steadfast path to achieving its Saudi Vision 2030 goals. With extensive investments in infrastructure, a comprehensive master plan, and a projected construction boom, the Kingdom is set to redefine its global economic standing. Experts forecast a transformative era with significant advancements in sustainability and urban development. For continued coverage on this and other industry news, stay tuned for the latest insights and updates.

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