RIYADH: King Salman has launched an ambitious program of projects in the Riyadh region worth billions, which will enhance the living standards of residents in a province that he has helped to shape for more than 50 years.
The 1,281 development projects in the Saudi capital and surrounding towns will cost about SR 82 billion ($22 billion). They aim to enhance crucial infrastructure, such as transportation and housing, and improve amenities, the environment and education.
The program includes: 15 housing projects in Riyadh and its governorates, in line with the objectives of Vision 2030 to increase house ownership among citizens; the establishment of the largest Islamic museum in the capital; a huge environmental project for the lakes south of the capital covering an area of 315,000 square meters; sports cities; seven medical cities; 16 educational projects; quality entertainment facilities; the expansion of airports; and the development and upgrading of the road network.
The projects were announced on Feb. 13 by Prince Faisal bin Bandar, the governor of Riyadh region, during an official inauguration event at Qasr Al-Hukm, in the presence of King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other dignitaries. They are part of a wider program of 2,830 projects planned for Riyadh at a total cost of SR 338 billion, which are expected to create tens of thousands of job opportunities for young men and women.
During the inauguration, the king ordered the release of citizens of the region jailed on financial charges who are not involved in criminal cases, whose debts do not exceed SR 1 million riyals and whose insolvency can be proved. He also ordered the payment of their debts.
Considered the “engineer” of the city, King Salman served as governor of Riyadh for almost five decades, during which he oversaw the transformation of the Saudi capital into a modern, thriving metropolis and one of the most important cities in the Middle East.