Despite downturn, Saudi Arabia pursues goal of doubling size of capital city

An aerial view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. EPA-EFE/ANDRE PAIN

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Saudi Arabia is pressing on with plans to double the size and population of its capital city in the next decade, a government official said, despite an economic downturn due to the coronavirus crisis and low oil prices.

Fahd Al-Rasheed, president of Riyadh’s royal commission, said the government has already committed some $266.6 billion for ongoing and new projects as part of total investments of some $800 billion (641.23 billion pounds) over the next 10 years in participation with the private sector to transform the city.

“The idea is for Riyadh to become a 15 million person city by 2030,” he told Reuters, saying growth would create jobs.

“Riyadh is already the epicentre of economic development in the country and the region … We have now the ambitious plan under Vision 2030 of doubling both our economy and population over the next 10 years.”

Vision 2030 is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to shake up the conservative kingdom by weaning the economy off oil and building new industries and mega projects with the private sector to generate millions of jobs.

via Reuters

 

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