As part of the Kingdom’s push to further diversify its economy, Riyadh is set for a once-in-a-lifetime development project that will see it recognized as one of the world’s largest city economies by 2030. By investing over USD$23billion, the Kingdom seeks to more than double its population, to 20 million by 2030, and attract talent and investment from across the region.
Core to its Vision 2030 strategy is the Kingdoms focus on funding new human futures by improving quality of life, driving environmental and economic sustainability, and developing new sectors and jobs.
As part of this strategy, Riyadh will be essential, setting the groundwork for job creation, innovation and education, and forming a highly skilled workforce and population with a standard of living second to none.
To date, Riyadh is responsible for about 50 percent of the Kingdom’s non-oil economy. Additional factors further solidify the notion that the Saudi capital ideal for robust development. Not only is the cost of job creation in Riyadh 30 percent less than that of other cities in Saudi, but also the cost of real estate and infrastructure development is also significantly less, bolstered by the cities sound planning and management.
Speaking at the 4th Edition of the Future Investment Initiative Forum in January, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made clear his views on the impact vibrant city economies can make globally and the role Riyadh is set to play on the international stage.
Over the next quarter of 2021, with sights clearly set on forming a truly global financial hub, numerous investment projects will be announced for Riyadh, with a focus on banking, logistics, biotech, and the digital economy.
In addition to creating thousands of new jobs in the capital, the huge investment will also contribute towards an integrated approach to wellness, health, sports, culture, and the arts, underpinned by a commitment to environmental sustainability.
These redefining projects are to be financed through direct investment from the national sovereign wealth fund, the Saudi Royal Commission as well as investment from abroad. In 2019, King Salman unveiled plans to launch four wellbeing projects for Riyadh which would transform the capital and bring it on a par with some of the world’s most liveable cities – King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh, and Riyadh Art.
Upon completion, King Salman Park will be the largest city park in the world, featuring a Royal Arts complex, museums, sports venues, water features, and an 18-hole Royal Golf Course.
Within the coming decade, by dramatically increasing green spaces and recreational areas as well as installing 1,000 works of art across the city, the Saudi Royal Commission aims to bring Riyadh to the forefront of Vision 2030’s Quality of Life Program whilst solidifying its future amongst the top ten largest city economies.