On 28 November 2023, during the 173rd General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Member States elected Saudi Arabia as host country of World Expo 2030.
In the first round of voting, Member States voted for Saudi Arabia’s project to organise World Expo 2030 in the city of Riyadh under the theme “The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow” between 1 October 2030 and 31 March 2031.
The government of the country wishing to organise World Expo 2030 submits a letter of candidature to the BIE mentioning the proposed theme, the proposed city and dates, the duration of the Expo and the legal status of the organisers. The letter must guarantee the full support of the government.
Upon receipt of one candidature, the BIE enacts a six-month countdown during which all other countries wishing to organise World Expo 2030 may notify the BIE of their candidature. At the end of this six-month candidature phase, the BIE closes the candidature list.
There must be at least 15 years between any two Expos (World Expos or Specialised Expos) organised in the same country. If the Government submitting the application is not the organiser of the Expo, it must officially recognise the organisers and guarantee the fulfilment of their obligations.
After the six-month candidature phase, all candidates enter the project examination phase during which they present a detailed candidature dossier based on defined specifications. These candidature dossiers are used as the basis for the work of BIE Enquiry Missions that are carried out in candidate countries.
Enquiry Missions are organised in each candidate country. They are composed of one of the Vice Presidents of the BIE, one or more Delegates of BIE Member States or experts, as well as the BIE Secretary General. These Enquiry Missions assess the feasibility and viability of the Expo project, the political and social climate of the candidate country and city and the support of relevant parties (government, local authorities and citizens) for the project.
The following elements are evaluated:
The proposed opening dates of the Expo (maximum 6 months)
The proposed theme of the Expo and the development of the theme
The overall objectives and anticipated results of the Expo
The level of support for the Expo among citizens, special interest groups, political groups and businesses
The legislative, organisation, operational and financial measures taken by relevant authorities, including support for developing countries
The communications strategy to promote the Expo
The location of the proposed Expo site, and the city and region
The planned content of the Expo in terms of pavilions and programming
The development and post-use plans for the Expo site
The expected number of participants and the nature of participation
The number of expected visits and visitor profiles
The planned accommodation facilities for visitors and staff
The feasibility plan including budgeting
The estimated cost of participation
The results of the Enquiry Missions are compiled in a report that is reviewed by the BIE Executive Committee, which forwards the projects it finds viable to the General Assembly. Member States are asked to approve the projects taken into consideration, which will progress to the final vote.
In order to garner support for their Expo project, candidate countries carry out international campaigns as soon as they have submitted their candidature to host an Expo.
During each General Assembly of the BIE held between the notification of candidature and the final vote, candidate countries present their Expo project to delegates of BIE Member States.
At the end of the project examination phase, BIE Member States, on the principle of one country one vote, will elect the World Expo 2030 host country by secret ballot during a BIE General Assembly set to take place in late 2023.
Member States base their decision on the findings of the Enquiry Missions, the appeal of the proposed Expo theme and whether it is relevant for their participation in the Expo, as well as their bilateral relations with the candidate countries.
In the case of more than two candidates, a country must receive a two thirds majority in order to be elected in the first round. If no proposal receives a two thirds majority in the first round, the proposal that receives the least votes is eliminated. This procedure carries on until only two candidates are left. The host country will then be elected by a simple majority.
After a country is elected host country, it continues to work closely with the BIE to formalise the Expo project by submitting a Registration Dossier that must be approved by the BIE General Assembly.
Dates:1 May - 31 October 2030
Theme:Transforming Our World, Navigating Toward a Better Future
The Republic of Korea’s bid is for a World Expo in the city of Busan between 1 May and 31 October 2030 under the theme “Transforming Our World, Navigating Toward a Better Future”.
All information is provided by the candidate.
Spurred by rapid growth in advanced, yet disruptive technologies, climate change, and the prolonged pandemic, humanity is facing an unprecedented period of change and transformation. The theme - Transforming Our World, Navigating Toward a Better Future - reflects the understanding that in times of change and crisis, humanity must pursue transformation to move toward a better future. World Expo 2030 Busan, Korea would be a special voyage toward a better future.
The three sub-themes of the Expo embody Busan’s determination to surmount the challenges and to serve as an example for people around the world. First, Sustainable Living with Nature means overcoming the global climate change crisis and pursuing sustainable living with nature. Second, Technology for Humanity means resolving various side effects resulting from advanced technological development and promoting human happiness. The third, Platform for Caring and Sharing contains resolving various disparities between social classes and countries.
World Expo 2030 Busan, Korea would be held between 1 May and 31 October 2030 for a total of 184 days. It is estimated that the total number of visits to Expo 2030 Busan would be 34.8 million. Expo 2030 Busan would take place in the North Port section of Busan, an area of approximately 3.4 million square metres inclusive of land and water.
Busan North Port, the site proposed for Expo 2030, was Korea’s first trading port. After its opening in 1876, it handled most of the country’s export and import shipments. However, with Busan New Port having now become the primary logistics hub, the space surrounding Busan North Port is being developed into a “global centre for a new marine industry.” The project proposes using the North Port area as the site for Expo 2030 and to return the infrastructure to businesses and citizens after the event.
As a city that embodies the Republic of Korea's history of great transformation, Busan is an optimal host city for a mega-event. Busan offers convenient transportation and superior city infrastructure, and has a rich past experience of safely hosting international events.
Busan is the second-largest city in the Republic of Korea and an international logistics hub with the second largest transshipment port in the world. As an engine of economic growth and inclusion, Busan helped transform the Republic of Korea into the world’s 10th largest economy following the Korean War. It also features a maritime climate, while also boasting a harmonious natural environment.
Dates:1 May – 31 October 2030
Theme:People and Territories: Regeneration, Inclusion and Innovation
Italy’s bid is for a World Expo in the city of Rome between 1 May and 31 October 2030 under the theme “People and Territories: Regeneration, Inclusion and Innovation”.
People and Territories: Regeneration, Inclusion and Innovation aims to deliver sustainable solutions to identify new ways of living in our territories given the challenges being faced today. Challenges that include every aspect from driving the development of poor rural areas and the upgrade of urban living conditions in Developing Countries, to tackling social inequalities, crime, water, and waste management in wealthier nations.
The intent is to create a World Expo that wants to deliver a poly-centric and truly inclusive future, that offers every human being the same opportunities, both in terms of infrastructure and services, and cultural and social development.
The question underlying the Expo 2030 Roma project is a simple one: ‘How can we live and prosper in an increasingly uncertain, unforgiving and more complex world?’
The proposed theme, People and Territories, aligned with the concept of Togetherness, provides an answer by emphasising the power of communities and partnerships within territories as the greatest hope for building a truly sustainable future for all.
The site Master Plan is the physical manifestation of People and Territories, a space that celebrates nature and humans co-existing in harmony. The plan brings together green spaces and modal infrastructure with a view to a circular economy, sustainability, and climate resilience, while the pavilions and functional areas would showcase and demonstrate different aspects of the subthemes.
The main long-term objectives guiding the architecture are:
The proposed site is located within Tor Vergata, a neighbourhood with a strong local identity, hosting one of the capital's university campuses, a large hospital complex, and residential area. Tor Vergata faces issues typical of contemporary metropolitan development and lends itself as an ideal place to build innovative regeneration based on social inclusion and community action.
The eternal city has always been a capital of art, culture, dialogue, and creativity and is the embodiment of constant regeneration and reinvention. Culturally, Rome is still one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, hosting more than a hundred different nationalities and ethnic communities.
The unrivalled credentials of Rome itself presents a unique opportunity to create a charismatic event that would attract the attention of the entire world and put Expo 2030 in a place that almost everyone on Earth already wants to visit.
It is specifically Rome that has inspired the new 'Humanlands' communication campaign: a new word coined to express the Expo 2030 Roma candidacy.
Held in Rome, Expo 2030 would investigate precisely how cities could become the key to our existence, putting the human element at the centre and becoming increasingly sustainable and shared equally by all inhabitants.
Dates:1 October 2030 - 31 March 2031
Theme:The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow
Saudi Arabia’s bid is for a World Expo in the city of Riyadh between 1 October 2030 and 31 March 2031 under the theme “The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow”.
Saudi Arabia's proposed theme for Riyadh Expo 2030, The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow, is an invitation for everyone to join, with courage and innovation, to change the trajectory of the planet’s future towards a better tomorrow.
The three sub-themes reflect the aspiration to mobilise the global community towards an inclusive, re-energised world in which science and technology are in service of a better future for humanity:
A Different Tomorrow - Science, innovation, and pervasive technologies hold endless opportunities to develop new tools for people and their communities provided they consider the social and environmental effects of economic success.
Climate Action - The impact of climate change is rapidly accelerating, requiring creative solutions to manage our resources and to look after our precious ecosystems.
Prosperity for All - A better future is for all and should proactively include the voices, needs and contributions of everyone celebrating our differences as sources of strength.
The site - Designed as a futuristic city around an ancient wadi (valley), the site embodies both the “oasis” and “garden” origins of Riyadh, and the vision of the country to pioneer a sustainable future for cities and their communities.
Compact and inclusive - A compact and inclusive site, focused on immersive experiences across both pavilions and public realm.
Total size – 600 ha.
Strategic location - Located North of Riyadh, in close proximity to King Khalid International Airport (KKIA) and to the prestigious King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC), as well as directly connected to the city's most iconic destinations.
Moreover, it would be the only World Expo site in the world to be located at only one metro station away from the airport.
Heartbeat of the region - Riyadh (meaning “gardens” in Arabic) started as a thriving oasis and is the capital city of Saudi Arabia and the political, economic and cultural centre of the Middle East.
A catalyst for change - Riyadh is the catalyst for change in the Kingdom, having embarked on an ambitious investment program to become an ever more sustainable and energy-filled destination, with a central focus on ranking amongst the most liveable cities in the world.
A diverse and multifaceted city - Riyadh’s vibrant economy makes it a preferred destination for global businesses and talent while the social and community focus is on establishing it as a prime centre for health, education, and research facilities.
Ready to host the world - Through its city landmarks and attractions, its lively cultural scene and open visa policy, Riyadh is rapidly advancing in the ranks of the most visited cities in the world.