Arab Press

بالشعب و للشعب
Saturday, Feb 04, 2023

Davos 2023: Riyadh city developing fast with eye on Expo 2030 bid

Davos 2023: Riyadh city developing fast with eye on Expo 2030 bid

Saudi Arabia, which has bid to host the Expo 2030 world fair, is pushing ahead with plans to turn its capital Riyadh into a major global metropolis, a government official said on Thursday.
The kingdom has ambitions to double the size and population of its capital city with total investments of some $800 billion under its Vision 2030 plan to modernise the Gulf Arab state and diversify the economy to wean it off oil export revenues.

Fahd Al-Rasheed, president of Riyadh's royal commission, said the $8 billion bill to build the Expo site paled in comparison to the $400 billion of construction investment currently in the city of eight million people.

"We are building the largest transport network in the world, we are building the largest airport in the world, and over 30 mega-projects as we speak are being constructed, so the city is a hive of economic activity," Al-Rasheed told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Should Riyadh win Expo hosting rights it would be ready, but the build-up, which includes an additional 120,000 hotel rooms by 2030, was needed regardless to meet tourism goals, he said.

The host country for the 2030 Expo is expected to be selected in November. Riyadh is competing with Italy's Rome, South Korea's Busan and Ukraine's Odesa.

Saudi Arabia has also pushed through social reforms to modernise the conservative country, the birthplace of Islam, including lifting a ban on women driving and permitting public entertainment like concerts.

Asked if alcohol would be allowed in Riyadh by 2030, Al Rasheed said: "No, but I think you can ... consider it a wellness detox."

On religious freedom in a state that does not allow non-Muslims to practice their faith publicly, he said there was "a level of openness happening".

The kingdom has faced Western criticism over its human rights record, which came under intense scrutiny after the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi by Saudi agents.

If Saudi Arabia wins its bid it would be the second Arab country to host Expo after the United Arab Emirates. Last year neighbouring Qatar hosted soccer's World Cup, which drew sharp criticism over Doha's human rights record.

Related Articles

Arab Press
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
Shell reports highest profits in 115 years
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Saudi FM discusses Kingdom’s economy, oil, Iran and US ties in Davos
Israelis rally in three cities against Netanyahu legal reforms
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Saudi Arabia plans to use domestic uranium for nuclear fuel
Mohammed Bin Salman chosen most influential Arab leader of 2022
Dirty bomb fears as URANIUM is found in cargo at Heathrow
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
United Arab Emirates says it will teach Holocaust in schools
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Saudi Arabia’s female ambassadors: Who are the five women representing the Kingdom?
Almubarak named ‘The Best Central Bank Governor of the Year 2023 for the Middle East’
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Dubai announces $8.7 trillion economic plan to boost trade, investment and global hub status
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules