Grand plans for Riyadh as projects gather momentum



A far-reaching masterplan that will support the thousands of projects already taking shape across Riyadh is expected to put the city on course to become a leading “global metropole”, its Emir, Prince Faisal Bin Bandar, told Oxford Business Group (OBG).

2In an exclusive interview, Prince Faisal said the drafted Strategic and Comprehensive Master Plan of Riyadh had both economic development and sustainable growth at its core. Both, he told OBG, would be achieved “by focusing on upgrading human capital, diversifying income sources, promoting modern infrastructure to accommodate the demands of development and supporting environmental protection programs.”

Projects will be rolled out through a raft of strategic programs under the Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA), the government agency responsible for the socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental development of the city, which has drafted the masterplan in collaboration with other organizations.  The plan, he noted, included the rehabilitation of Wadi Hanifah, Silay Valley and Al Hair Lakes.

“It also calls for the construction of 100 municipal parks throughout the city and the development of plazas and pedestrian walkways to create open spaces for the citizenry to enjoy,” he told OBG. Prince Faisal, who is also chairman of the ADA, said the broad range of projects already under way across Riyadh, worth approximately SR509b ($135.7b), included commercial and social initiatives, alongside ambitious transport infrastructure upgrades that would “change the city”.

“The most well-known is the King Abdulaziz Public Transport Project, commonly known as the Riyadh Metro, which will create an integrated metro and bus network in the city,” Prince Faisal said. “There is also the King Khalid International Airport Expansion Project, and railway development and expressways projects.”

The metro, which he described as the backbone of the public transport system, will comprise six lines, spanning 176 km and serving 85 stations, providing links to King Khalid International Airport, King Abdullah Financial Centre, the city’s main university campuses, the city center and other key transport intersections. More info