Five cities in running to host 2020 Universal Expo
Izmir in Turkey, Ayutthaya in Thailand, Sao Paolo in Brazil, Ekaterinburg in Russia and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates were named Friday as candidate cities to host the 2020 Universal Exposition.
The five rivals will present their bids to an assembly of the 157 member states of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) and the winner will be announced in November 2013 after a vote.
Last year Shanghai in China hosted the World Expo, billed as the world's largest celebration of human progress, and another will be held in 2015 in the Italian city of Milan.
Smaller three-month long "International Expositions" are held in between the five-yearly six-month-long Universal Expositions, the next being in 2012 in South Korea's Yeosu.
Next week's BIE assembly will also study bids to host the 2017 International Exposition. Two candidates, Kazahkstan's Astana and Belgium's Liege are known, but more may come forward before a December 10 deadline.
The first Universal Exposition was staged in London in 1851 and since then they have served to showcase technology, architecture and culture, while attracting visitors to host cities and generating business.
© 2011 AFP