Ecotourism project protects wildlife, promotes jobs in Saudi Arabia

Wadi Al Disah is located in the north-west of Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve and southwest of Tabuk. (Supplied)
Updated 20 November 2018

Ecotourism project protects wildlife, promotes jobs in Saudi Arabia

  • The Wadi Al-Disah Development Project will promote economic diversification and create investment opportunities for the private sector

JEDDAH: A major sustainable tourism project that will promote jobs while protecting the local environment and wildlife has been launched by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) in the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve in the Kingdom’s northwest.
The PIF on Tuesday announced the launch of the Wadi Al-Disah Development Project, which is expected to become one of the Kingdom’s most environmentally diverse tourist attractions thanks to the site’s moderate climate, distinctive mountainous terrain and flowing springs.
The fund will establish a company to develop the project in accordance with international best practices regarding environmental conservation and sustainable development.
The new company will contribute to the creation of sustainable tourism and related job opportunities, supporting the Kingdom’s economic diversification and unlocking new assets in Saudi Arabia.
The announcement of the project follows the launch of the Amaala luxury tourism development in September, which will be the focal point of the tourism ecosystem within the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve.
The location, between NEOM, the Red Sea Development Project, Amaala and Al-Ula projects, will ensure a diverse and unique tourism offering, and offer a compelling investment opportunity for the private sector.
Wadi Al-Disah is situated in the northwest section of the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Natural Reserve, southwest of Tabuk.
The word “Al-Disah” means a valley of palm trees. The surrounding mountains and rock formations are expected to be popular with climbers of all levels. Other attractions include archaeological sites such as facades of Nabataean tombs, and the remains of walls containing Nabataean and Arabic writings in Kufic script.
The Wadi Al-Disah Development Project will promote economic diversification and create investment opportunities for the private sector.
The project aims to contribute to the development of the tourism sector in the Kingdom, preserve cultural and environmental heritage, and achieve sustainability in line with Vision 2030.

Saudi capital to get world’s biggest park in $23bn project

Updated 34 min 26 sec ago

Saudi capital to get world’s biggest park in $23bn project

  • The project will see 7.5m trees planted and the creation of the world's biggest park
  • There will be 70,000 jobs created across the four major projects

RIYADH: The world’s biggest park will be created in Saudi Arabia as part of a $22.9bn project that promises to create vast open green areas in Riyadh, creating thousands of new jobs, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday

The aim of the project is to “significantly improve the lives of its citizens, transform the city into an attractive destination and make it one of the world’s most livable cities,” the report added.

The four projects - King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh and Riyadh Art – will complement the Saudi Vision 2030’s “Quality of Life” Program and are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to create sustainable cities and communities, while driving urgent action against climate change.

Developed with a government investment of $23 bn, the four projects will offer opportunities worth $15bn for the private sector to invest in residential, commercial, recreational and wellness projects.

As well as creating tens of thousands of new jobs, the project will also help boost efforts to improve the city’s health and wellbeing with a commitment to wellness, health, sports, culture and the arts, underpinned by a commitment to environmental sustainability.

Measuring 13.4 square kilometers, King Salman Park will be the world’s biggest park, with residential areas, hotels, and will also feature a Royal Arts Complex, theaters, museums, cinemas, sports venues, water features, restaurants and an 18-hole Royal Golf Course.

The park will also boast several landmark assets, including the Riyadh Fountains and a Vertical Garden. As an environmentally sustainable urban development, it will offer opportunities for the international community in arts, entertainment and culture.


One of the world’s largest urban greening projects, Green Riyadh will increase Riyadh’s green cover with 7.5 million trees.

The massive planting project will help increase the city’s green cover from 1.5 percent of Riyadh’s total area to 9.1 percent – that’s approximately 541 square kilometers, by 2030.


Green space availability will increase to 28 square meters per capita from the current 1.7 square meters per capita, compared to the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 9 square meters per capita.

Green Riyadh will help reduce average ambient temperature by 2C, and will use more than 1 million cubic meters of treated sewage effluent daily for irrigation, for the sustainability of water resources in the city.


Sports Boulevard  - a health and wellness destination in the heart of the city- will feature a 135 kilometer-long professional cycling track covering the city and the surrounding valleys, the first of its kind in the region.

Adding 3.5 million square meters of new open space across the city, this grand project will also feature a sports pavilion, riding stables and athletics tracks.

Riyadh Art will be the world’s largest government investment in public art and will establish the city as “a gallery without walls” through a world-class interactive public arts program.

With 1,000 artworks curated through 10 separate programs and an annual arts festival, this project will feature large-scale art works with the aim of drawing art lovers and creators from around the world.

The projects are part of Saudi Arbia’s strategy to meet their Vision 2030 goals, they are expected to provide 70,000 new job opportunities.

Construction work is due to start in the second half of 2019.