China Civil builds on its Saudi success

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Updated 30 September 2014

China Civil builds on its Saudi success

China Civil, a top engineering construction corporation from China, is currently involved in a number of major projects in Saudi Arabia, including the Haramain High Speed Railway Phase 1 Package 1 project (HHR P1P1 for short) and construction of a tunnel at the intersection of King Abdulaziz Road with Palestine Street and Al-Hamra Street in Jeddah (KAAT).
Another major project it is handling is the civil and track works contract CTW400 — Az Zabirah Junction to King Khaled International Airport (from Ghassim to Riyadh).
This was disclosed to Arab News by Wen Wu, general manager of the company in Riyadh, on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
His company is also constructing a bridge at the intersection of Arafat Road with Al-Kharj Road in Riyadh (BIAK for short); besides three bridges (Abu Bakar Intersection, Hamza Intersection and Prince Muteb Intersection) in Najran.
Wu underlined China Civil’s commitment to serve the Kingdom in the construction sector, especially in railways with its three advantages in technical knowhow, financing and cost-effectiveness.
Providing an overview of his company, which was established in 1979, Wu said that the firm — as one of the pioneers of the projects performing international contracting and economic cooperation — has been developed from the earlier Foreign Aid Bureau of the Ministry of Railways of China into a large-scale state-owned enterprise with Chinese National Super Grade Qualification for railway project contracting.
It has been listed among the world’s top 225 international contractors for many years by the Engineering News Record.
“Since its execution of Tanzania-Zambia Railway, the biggest economic-aid project undertaken by China in 1960s, the company has been in constant development. At present, its business scope covers project contracting, civil engineering design and consultancy, real estate development, import and export trading, hotel management, etc.,” he noted.
According to him, the company’s business activities have spread to more than 60 countries in Asia, Africa, America, Europe and Oceania with its overseas offices or subsidiaries established in more than 40 countries and regions.
By the end of 2011, the number of core staff of the firm had exceeded 3,000 and that of foreign employees exceeded 10,000, with annual newly-signed contract value of $ 8.466 billion among which a turnover of $ 1.119 billion had been achieved.
He said: “In recent years, we have achieved rapid development, undertaking and executing numerous key projects ranging from railway, light rail, expressway to bridges, buildings, and municipal works.”
He added: “We have successfully signed the contracts for many large-scale projects in the past three years, such as Algerian 175 km Double Line Electrified Railway Project (contract value:1.728 billion euros) in 2009, Nigerian Railway Modernization Project (Abuja-Kaduna) (contract value: $850 million) in 2010, Nigerian Costal Railway Project Framework Contract (contract value: $13.1 billion) in 2014, and many other large-scale railway and expressway projects in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Nigeria and Chad in 2011. The contract value of the railway project between Ethiopia and Djibouti reached $1.702 billion.
By the end of 2011, he said the number of projects under execution amounted to 128 with a total contract value of  $8.385 billion, which in turn guarantees the company for its sustainable business development and ever growing strength in project contracting.
While consolidating and expanding its project contracting market, China Civil is also developing its diversified business and specialized professional edges, thus strengthening its financing capability to expand its business scope.
Adhering to the concept of “human-oriented, scientific management, sustained improvement, striving for excellence,” the firm will continue to deepen its cooperation with friends all over the world for a win-win situation for both.

Diriyah Gate to be a global, historical and cultural landmark

Updated 22 November 2019

Diriyah Gate to be a global, historical and cultural landmark

  • Diriyah is home to Al-Turaif District, built in 1744 and known as one of the largest clay cities in the world

DIRIYAH: With the establishment of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), the historical site of Diriyah will become one of the largest and most important international destinations.

The DGDA seeks to transform the site into a location to host activities and events aimed at exchanging historical and cultural knowledge through museums and venues spread throughout
Al-Turaif District.

 The DGDA aims to celebrate the people of Diriyah by telling their stories and demonstrating their social, cultural and historical the roots, as the cradle of the first Saudi state and a symbol of the beauty of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and
its people.

 Diriyah is home to Al-Turaif District, built in 1744 and known as one of the largest clay cities in the world. It was registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2010 — one of five Saudi sites listed.

Not far from Al-Turaif District is the historic Al-Bujairi District, which was a center for spreading science and knowledge during the prosperity of Diriyah, as the capital of the first Saudi state. 

Today it houses many commercial centers and cafes and is the perfect destination to experience Saudi cuisine.

One of the historical landmarks in Al-Turaif District is Salwa Palace, which is located in the northeastern part. It is the largest of its landmarks and spans over 10,000 square meters. It was founded by Imam Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed bin Saud in 1765, and is historically known as the home of the first royal family. 

The palace houses the Diriyah Museum, which presents the history and development of the first Saudi state through works of art, drawings, models and documentaries.


At the northern end of old Diriyah, the town of Ghusaybah sits atop of a plateau surrounded by the Hanifa Valley on three sides.

Salwa Palace forms an integrated architectural system with its residential, administrative, cultural and religious units.

 Al-Turaif District also includes the Imam Muhammad bin Saud Mosque, known as the Great Mosque or Al-Turaif Mosque. It is adjacent to Salwa Palace on the north side, and Imams used to lead Friday prayers there.

 To make movement between the mosque and the palace easier, Imam Saud bin Abdul Aziz built a bridge to connect them on the upper floor. The mosque houses a religious school to teach religious sciences. It was formerly the largest mosque in the Arabian Peninsula and was built to symbolize the strength and unity of the Saudi state.

 At the northern end of old Diriyah, the town of Ghusaybah sits atop of a plateau surrounded by the Hanifa Valley on three sides. It was settled by Mani’ Al-Muraydi, the oldest ancestor of the House of Saud, in the 15th century. 

Ghusaybah is a well-established location, carefully chosen for the establishment of the new governorate, and its location played a major role in the protection of Hajj convoys and trade passing through its areas of influence in Al-Arid region.

 Ghusaybah was the seat of an independent governorate before the founding of the first Saudi state. It provided protection for the northern gate of Diriyah during the campaign of Ibrahim Pasha in 1818.

 Samhan is one of the historical areas south of Ghusaybeh on a triangle overlooking the valley when it meets another tributary, the villages of Omran. It directly overlooks the districts of Qusayrin, Mrayih, and Al-Turaif. This location was important during the reign of Imam Mohammed bin Saud and his son Samhan, being a well-fortified site during the siege of Diriyah. It was selected by Imam Abdullah to be his defense headquarters.

 In the field of philanthropy, one may mention “Sabala Moudhi” which was founded by Imam Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed bin Saud, who made it a charitable endowment in the name of his mother, Moudhi bint Sultan bin Abi Wahtan, wife of Imam Mohammed bin Saud. 

It is located east of the Salwa Palace on the southeast of Al-Turaif District. It is a two-story building and was established to provide free accommodation for visitors coming to the city of Diriyah.