Saudi Arabia to finalise Riyadh development strategy next year

Riyadh Royal Commission will launch the plan to transform the capital into a major global city by 2030

Saudi Arabia will finalise a major development strategy for Riyadh next year, according to SPA. EPA-EFE

Saudi Arabia will finalise a major development strategy for Riyadh next year to transform the capital into a major global city economy by 2030.

The board of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC) has postponed the launch of the 2030 strategy for the kingdom's capital due to its huge size and a few "incomplete key elements", Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The board has issued a decision to postpone the launch of the Riyadh strategy until 2022, given the "magnitude of its size" and that some important elements of it are incomplete, SPA said.

"The RCRC will supervise the implementation of the strategy, by monitoring and measuring more than 50 performance indicators, based on benchmarks to the world’s leading cities," it added.

As part of the Riyadh strategy, the kingdom aims to transform the capital into one of the top 10 city economies globally, doubling its population to 15-20 million, while increasing the number of visitors to more than 40 million by 2030, RCRC said on Monday.

Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest economy, is seeking to diversify its economy away from oil by creating new industries and investment opportunities. The kingdom is pushing forward with numerous mega developments that are aimed at significantly boosting and diversifying the national economy.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled the master plan and main features of the 75 billion Saudi riyals ($20bn) Jeddah Central Project, which will create a world-class destination at the heart of the city and further strengthen its economy.

In November, Prince Mohammed announced a futuristic new industrial city in the sea, called Oxagon, which will be the largest floating industrial complex in the world and the first fully integrated port and supply chain ecosystem for Neom, Saudi Arabia's high-tech city.

The kingdom also announced plans that Neom will expand a tiny local port into a trade and manufacturing hub near the Suez Canal to anchor Oxagon.

Riyadh strategy, meanwhile, will be implemented through 26 sectoral programmes, including more than 100 initiatives and 700 pioneer projects across sectors and in different parts of the city, which will help transform Riyadh into one of the most liveable cities in the world.

Several new projects are under way in Riyadh. New developments include the $20bn Diriyah Gate Project with 20,000 housing units, $17bn King Salman Park community with 12,000 units as well as an $8bn mega entertainment project, called Qiddiyah, consultancy Knight Frank said in a report in August.

Other schemes include the $7.8bn King Abdullah Financial District, $3.2bn Mall of Saudi being developed by the UAE’s Majid Al Futtaim Group and The Avenues Mall.

Close to three million square metres of new office space is also being built in the capital, along with more than 12,000 hotel rooms, spread across mega projects worth an estimated $63bn as the kingdom continues to diversify its economy and increase non-oil revenue.

Updated: December 28th 2021, 10:32 AM