Dr. Atif Al-Amri, head of Saudi Education Ministry's Vision 2030 Realization Office 

Dr. Atif Al-Amri
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Updated 13 June 2020

Dr. Atif Al-Amri, head of Saudi Education Ministry's Vision 2030 Realization Office 

Dr. Atif Al-Amri has been head of the Vision 2030 Realization Office at the Saudi Ministry of Education since June 2019. Education Minister Dr. Hamad Al-Asheikh recently reappointed Al-Amri to the same post.

Al-Amri has also served as adviser to the education minister since January 2019, and was the director general of the planning department at the ministry between 2017 and 2018.

Al-Amri is also a professor of computer and information sciences in the software engineering department at King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh.

He held several posts at KSU, including assistant vice rector of planning and development between 2014 and 2017.

Al-Amri was also chairman of the information systems department at the same university, a post he held for a year and a half between 2013 and 2014. Previously, he was vice chairman for six months.

Al-Amri has also been research chair of Pervasive and Mobile Computing (CPMC) at KSU since January 2011 and was the project manager of its data warehouse and quality management project between 2010 and 2014.

He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in information systems from the College of Computer and Information Science at KSU.

Later, he obtained his Ph.D. from the School of Information Technology and Engineering at the University of Ottawa in Canada.

His Ph.D. was in computer science and focused on multimedia-based medical applications.

He also worked as a research assistant at the same school at the University of Ottawa.

Al-Amri’s Twitter handle is @atif_alamri.


$800bn plan to turn Riyadh into cultural hub for the Middle East

Updated 06 July 2020

$800bn plan to turn Riyadh into cultural hub for the Middle East

  • Saudi capital’s planning chief unveils ambitious strategy ahead of G20 urban development summit

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is launching a SR3 trillion ($800 billion) plan to double the size of Riyadh in the next decade and transform it into an economic, social and cultural hub for the region.

The ambitious strategy for the capital city was unveiled by Fahd Al-Rasheed, president of the Royal Commission for the City of Riyadh, ahead of key meetings of the U20, the arm of the G20 leaders’ summit that deals with urban development and strategy.

“Riyadh is already a very important economic engine for the Kingdom, and although it’s already very successful, the plan now, under Vision 2030, is to actually take that way further, to double the population to 15 million people,” he told Arab News.

“We’ve already launched 18 megaprojects in the city, worth over SR1 trillion, over $250 billion, to both improve livability and deliver much higher economic growth so we can create jobs and double the population in 10 years. It’s a significant plan and the whole city is working to make sure this happens.”

About $250 billion in investment is expected from the private sector, with the same amount generated by increased economic activity from population growth, finance and banking, cultural and desert tourism, and leisure events.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 18 megaprojects have already been launched worth over $250 billion.
  • 7 million trees planted in Riyadh in the next few years.
  • King Salman Park will be bigger than Hyde Park in London.

“We must also ensure the growth is managed properly, so there will be a focus on transport and logistics, including the Riyadh metro which will open at the beginning of next year. The aim is to increase productivity,” Al-Rasheed said.

The plan involves the creation of a “mega industrial zone” focusing on advanced technology such as renewables and automation, and biotechnology and aquaponics. Another key feature is sustainability, with energy conservation, the circular carbon economy with its emphasis on reducing emissions, and water management, all priorities.

“You will see 7 million trees planted in Riyadh in the next few years, and King Salman Park will be bigger than Hyde Park in London,” Al-Rasheed said.

The city also aims to be a Middle East artistic and cultural hub. An opera house is being considered, as well as public art shows with 1,000 works commissioned from around the world. “We have not seen anything like it since Renaissance Florence,” Al-Rasheed said.

The plans will be discussed this week during online meetings of the U20 linking Riyadh with Houston. The Texas oil capital is suffering a new spike in coronavirus cases and pandemics will be on the agenda. “We want to deal with this one, but also be ready for the next one,” Al-Rasheed said.