Fireworks erupted in Dubai after the tiny Gulf emirate won the right to host the 2020 World Expo, becoming the first Middle Eastern city to organize the event in since it began more than 150 years ago.
Dubai bested competing bids from Izmir, Turkey; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Yekaterinburg, Russia, after three rounds of voting by delegates of the 168-nation Bureau International des Expositions in Paris.
In line with its reputation for over-the-top glitz, Dubai lit the world’s tallest tower with glimmering lights. The skies around the Burj Khalifa, which towers at 2,717 feet, erupted with fireworks.
The logo of its bid for the 2020 expo was plastered on police cars, convenience store bags, storefronts, taxis, receipts, government buildings and even on a flag on Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya.
A spending spree was already underway even before officials announced the host city. Dubai estimates a successful Expo 2020 bid will generate $23 billion between 2015 and 2021, or 24 percent of the city’s gross domestic product. They say total financing for the 6-month-long event will cost $8.4 billion.
The World’s Fair is a chance for millions from around the world to discuss and see the business of the future.