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Dubai Beats Out Yekaterinburg, Izmir and Sao Paulo to Win 2020 World Expo

PARIS — The United Arab Emirates city of Dubai has been selected over  Brazil, Russia and Turkey to host the 2020 World Expo, in a victory for investment, tourism and national pride.

The Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, Yekaterinburg in Russia, Izmir in Turkey and Dubai were in the running to host the next world's fair, which was decided in a vote by the 168 members of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions.

In Dubai, crowds of hundreds of people were waiting for the result in front of big screens outside the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.

World Expos, which participating countries use to showcase technological prowess, culture and architecture, are held every five years for six months. Milan will host the next one in 2015.

The fairs hold huge stakes for would-be hosts, which are prepared to spend billions on infrastructure, hotels, buildings and other preparations to attract millions of tourists.

China said it spent $4.2 billion when Shanghai hosted the last World Expo in 2010, double what it spent at the Beijing Olympics.

Yekaterinburg was counting on Russia's experience preparing and hosting the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi to sway delegates to vote for it.

The Russian government had pledged to stump up whatever funds are necessary, banking on the fair helping to transform the central Russian industrial city a into a hub for technology and innovation.

Dubai, which had lobbied hard to host the 2020 fair, was eager to be the first country in the Middle East to host a World Expo. It tried to highlight its transport links and said the facilities will be turned into a trade center after the expo.

Material from The Moscow Times was included in this report.

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