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Saudi Arabia's race for delivery
Riyadh's challenge to deliver $1tn-worth of projects intensifies with less than 10 years left for construction
The launch of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 was a watershed moment. While plans to conduct the world’s largest-ever initial public offering through national oil company Saudi Aramco grabbed all the headlines, the roadmap outlined a wide-ranging suite of economic reforms aimed at weaning the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy off hydrocarbons.
Building $1tn of infrastructure is a critical component of the vision. After two years of austerity following the collapse in oil prices in late 2014, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud kicked off a race for delivery with the launch of new projects in 2017.
The scale of the schemes surpasses anything announced in the region before. The Neom development in the northwest corner of the kingdom alone is expected to cost $500bn to deliver. The future city covers an area the size of Belgium and aims to reshape humankind with new ways of living in zero-carbon cities free of cars.
The other gigaprojects launched included the Red Sea Project, Amaala, Diriyah, Qiddiya and Al-Ula. These have been joined by a raft of other major projects such as King Salman Park, Riyadh Sports Boulevard and Jeddah Downtown.
Many of these schemes are backed by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF). Prince Mohammed said in early 2021 that PIF would spend SR3tn on projects by 2030. Read more here
Egis CEO sees great opportunities in Saudi Arabia
MEED Business Review's February 2022 issue also includes:
> Saudi leads MEED's digital readiness ranking
> Qatar nears its time to shine
> Mena region becomes global water hotspot
> Download the February 2022 issue here
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