Saudi Arabia’s King Salman unveils $22bn Riyadh development projects

© Saudi Press Agency

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, has approved 1,281 cross-sector development projects in Riyadh.

King Salman laid foundation stones for development projects worth up to $21.8bn (SAR82bn) during a ceremony on 13 February, 2019, state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

SPA did not report on the type of projects that will be launched, but other news outlets have reported that construction work will cover critical areas such as social infrastructure and housing.

The English-language Saudi Gazette said the projects include seven medical cities and hospitals, numerous schools and sports centres, parks, 15 residential developments, and the largest museum in Riyadh. Reuters, meanwhile, said 360 new projects were announced by King Salman during the ceremony, in which he patronised the opening of 921 projects.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince HRH Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz attended the inauguration ceremony, which took place at Qasr Al-Hukm, the cultural and commercial centre of Riyadh.

HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, governor of Riyadh Region, delivered a speech on the development projects, which he said touched on all sectors of the Saudi capital’s economy.

King Salam’s approval for the multibillion-dollar investment drive comes just days after he approved a plan to reimburse some companies in the private sector that struggled to pay expat work permit fees in 2017 and 2018. The scheme is worth $3.1bn (SAR11.5bn) and is part of a wider stimulus package to support the burgeoning private sector, which is a central pillar of the kingdom’s plan to strengthen its economy.