On 26 November 2013, the member nations of the BIE (Bureau International des Expositons) voted to award the right to host Expo 2020 to the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
The competion to host Expo 2020 had been between Brazil, Russia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. Thailand's bid was removed on 11 June 2013 leaving four competing cities. Sao Paulo was eliminated in the first round. Izmir was eliminated in the second round.
Dubai's win brings the Middle East its first world's fair. It is also the first world's fair held in a majority Islamic country.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates Winning Bid for 2020
Seemingly, the best funded of the five original bids for 2020, Dubai had amibtious plans to tranform a completely vacant desert area into an oasis. It has spent a great deal of money corralling talent from around the world planning for its bid. In the end, this proved to be a winning combination.
"Global Mind Adventure" film presented at BIE General Assembly,
Video greeting from Ekaterinburg to Yeosu, host of Expo 2012
Izmir, Turkey Failed Bid for 2020
Izmir, Turkey had previously bid to host Expo 2015 and narrowly lost to Milan. A Turkish bid would have seemed to be a strong contender for 2020. Izmir was selected over Ankara by Turkey's federal government. The proposed theme was "New Routes to a Better World: Health for All."
Izmir bid film presented at BIE General Assembly in November 2012
Sao Paulo, Brazil Failed Bid for 2020
Brazil would have hosted it's first BIE-sanctioned world's fair in the city of Sao Paulo, four years after Rio de Janiero's 2016 Summer Olympics and six years after Brazil's 2014 World Cup. The proposed theme was "the Power of Diversity, Harmony for Growth."
Ayutthaya withdrew its bid for Expo 2020 on 11 June 2013. Ayutthaya was originally chosen over several competing regions by Thailand's federal government. The proposed theme is "Redefine Globalisation: Balanced Life, Sustainable Living."
An organized group in Houston had also hoped to bid for 2020, but have now repurposed their organization in the hope for a 2025 bid.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Montreal government leaders had suggested bidding for Expo 2020 but a bid was not produced.
Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Rio de Janiero had also expressed interest in bidding for Expo 2020. A decision was made to place the bid on behalf of Sao Paulo instead.
Silicon Valley, California, USA
Plans had been made for a Silicon Valley bid for Expo 2020, but the deadline for a bid arrived before government support (including the United States rejoining the BIE) could be secured in time. It is possible that a bid for 2025 will be made instead.