Economy Lifestyle

Saudi Arabia invests $23 billion to improve living in Riyadh

Bloomberg/Waseem Obaidi

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Work on the four new projects will start in the second half of 2019 and will create 70,000 jobs as well as offer investment opportunities worth SAR 50 billion to local and foreign investors.

Wednesday 20, March 2019

(Bloomberg) --Saudi Arabia plans to invest SAR 86 billion ($23 billion) into beautifying its capital, Riyadh, with projects expected to create tens of thousands of jobs and provide new leisure opportunities.

The Saudi government said that in addition to the Kingdom’s investment, the projects will create opportunities for $15 billion in private sector financing, adding that preliminary design work is under way, and construction is to begin in the second half of the year.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will head the committee overseeing the projects, which are designed to transform Riyadh into "one of the world’s most livable cities.

The King Salman Park, envisioned as one of the largest city parks in the world, including residential construction, hotels as well as an art complex a Sports Boulevard spanning the city from east to west, with paths for bicycles, pedestrians and horses the display of works by local and international artists around the city a 16-fold increase of green space, per capita

The plans are likely to be widely popular following energy subsidy cuts and new taxes implemented after the 2014 plunge in oil prices. Saudis often complain about the lack of green space and cultural activities in their dusty, sprawling capital. Some have also privately grumbled that money being spent on megaprojects like NEOM, a planned $500 billion futuristic city, would be better spent improving the quality of life in existing cities.

The news agency said the plans are expected to create 70,000 jobs for citizens, another feature likely to resonate positively in an economy struggling to recover from a downturn and tamp down 12.8 per cent unemployment.

 

TAGS : Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, King of Saudi Arabia , NEOM, King Salman Park, Vision 2030

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