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The Riyadh Development Authority (RDA) has approved a comprehensive plan worth US$74.1bn to develop more than 3,000 construction projects in and around the Saudi Arabian capital
Ibrahim Al-Sultan, head of RDA centre for projects and planning, said, “The project will bring about a facelift of downtown Riyadh and make it an outstanding historic, administrative, economic and cultural centre in the Kingdom.
“The central region will have three main railway lines and several bus routes. It will also house the main railway station, which will be part of the city’s public transport system," he said at a press meeting, adding that the plan also included the development of housing projects in the city and pedestrian pathways that would enhance the look of Riyadh and make it more comfortable for citizens and residents.
The official added that a new cultural, heritage and tourism route would be added, beginning from the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center to the Government Palace (Qasr Al-Hukm).
Al-Sultan said 3,088 development projects were being implemented in different parts of the Riyadh region, while 62 agencies have been authorised to follow up on the implementation of these projects. These agencies would also generate proposals for the development of the region and ways to remove obstacles facing development.
The RDA meeting approved the rules and regulations for the development of Wadi Haneefa and surrounding valleys. The project aims to make use of the area as a tourist and amusement centre while protecting its agricultural and heritage sites.
The RDA meeting also discussed preparations to implement the public transport project while reviewing its specifications, administrative and technical aspects and routes.
A total of four international consortia - Vinci and Alstom of France, Italy’s Ansaldo, Canada’s Bombardier, Germany’s Siemens and Stadler Bussnang of Switzerland - were competing to build a metro network in Riyadh, while six lines of electric rail, totaling 175 km, have been planned across Riyadh to serve the airport and the King Abdullah Financial District, which is currently under construction.