Ekaterinburg: reaching for the sky

CMW goes East and finds a former Soviet industrial powerhouse now making a big pitch for global events

Russia’s Urals powerhouse capital city of Ekaterinburg (1,800km east of Moscow) is one of the host cities for the World Cup 2018 and also one of the four bidding finalists for World Expo 2025.

With Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 representing a recent global big event bid success for Russia, its key cities’ stock is clearly rising in the events arena.

Founded by Peter the Great in 1723 and a key industrial staging post for evacuated Soviet wartime industry, the city of Ekaterinburg has an illustrious history, including the dark episode of being the location for the murder of the last Romanov Tsar in 1918.

The city was also the powerbase of former president Boris Yeltsin, when he ran the city as chief of the local communist party.

Today, Ekaterinburg is leading the way in skyscraper construction techniques and the city’s ‘Ekaterinburg Expo’ is a modern convention venue well equipped for the task and the largest such venue in the Urals.

CMW dropped by for the recent Forum 100+ convention devoted to skyscraper construction and witnessed first hand how the city’s events industry is literally reaching for the sky.

Professor Vladimir Alekhin, first deputy director of the Institute of Civil Engineering at the Ural Federal University, told CMW the Forum 100+ was growing fast, just like the city’s skyline. “Our Ekaterinburg Expo centre is a great venue and resource and helps our city host such important conferences. We had a big international delegation at our Forum 100+ and the city also has many international chain hotels. Things are moving fast here and there are numerous local enterprises and partners to discover for international business. Come to visit us at Expo 2025!”

The other three World Expo 2025 bidding cities are Paris, Osaka and Baku.

The selection criteria are based on the  viability of the Expo project as determined by the Enquiry Mission, as well as the appeal of the proposed theme.

The World Expo is held every five years and the next one is scheduled for Dubai from October 2020 to April 2021.

The basic proposed dates and themes from the 2025 candidates are:

• Ekaterinburg  2 May – 2 November 2025 under the theme ‘Changing the World: Inclusive Innovations – for Our Kids and Future Generations’.

• Paris: 1 May – 30 October 2025 under the theme ‘Sharing our Knowledge, Caring for Our Planet’.

• Osaka: 3 May – 3 November 2025 under the theme ‘Designing Future Society for Our Lives’.

• Baku  10 May – 10 November 2025 under the theme ‘Human Capital’.

The secretary general of the Bureau International de Expositions (BIE), the organisation in charge of overseeing World Expos, Vicente G. Loscertales, has said the BIE welcomed all four bids, “which demonstrate a strong interest in and enthusiasm for hosting World Expos across the globe.

“The project evaluation phase will now allow us to find out more about the vision of each candidate.”

The project examination phase will take place over the next year and a half. and candidates will also present their Expo project during each General Assembly between now and the final vote in November 2018.

World Expos are organised every five years and can last up to six months. International participants can build their own pavilions on the Expo site.

The themes of World Expos are designed to raise awareness of and find responses to universal challenges of our time.

The most recent World Expo was held in the city of Milan, Italy, in 2015, under the theme ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’. It drew representatives from 145 countries.


Paul Colston


Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World. Write Paul an E-mail

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