Saudi Arabia uses extreme budgets to complete megaprojects each year. With over 80 megaprojects in the works currently, these projects should all see completion before the year 2030. As part of the Middle East’s largest host of projects, these megaprojects will affect the entire region’s economy significantly.
An Underground for the Capital
The Capital of Saudi Arabia is Riyadh, and it’s getting an underground. The underground system has a budget of £17 billion and will see completion in less than four years. The tube starts at the centre of the business district of Riyadh and will have over 110 miles of line, and an estimated 80 stations within the city. The size and scope of this project make it the most significant ongoing transportation project globally.
The Saudi Landbridge
With over seven billion already invested, this land bridge spans from the Red Sea to the Gulf. This rail line is part of the GCC railway and has over 600 miles of line. The goal of the Saudi Landbridge project is to provide a fast, reliable goods transportation option between Jeddah and Riyadh. The land bridge has another line that runs from Dammam to Jubail.
The estimated transportation time will clock at 18 hours. Current goods transportation takes a minimum of 5 days to cover the same distance currently. This stretch of land sees at least eight million tons of freight every year.
Jazan the Economic City
Saudi Arabia has focused on creating jobs and building the agricultural business within the county in the last few years. The completion of Jazan will bring in about 500,000 jobs and support a population of over 250,000 people. This city will create a seaport that Saudi Arabia can utilize without extensive transportation needs. Instead, this seaport will feed the direct needs of the economic city which can then export agriculture goods.
Jazan will rely on the Saudi Landbridge to connect its economic purpose with other cities throughout Saudi Arabia. However, the new seaport will warrant the money put behind the transportation it needs for success.
The City of knowledge
Saudi Arabia is using megaprojects to build massive cities that are mostly self-sufficient but offer specific goods to export and trade. This system reinforces economic growth and creates a greater sense of stability than typical cities that sprout up naturally.
Saudi Arabia’s city of knowledge is the city of Madinah. This mega project has an estimated budget of over 5 billion pounds and when complete, will cover 4.8 million square miles. Madinah will create over 20,000 jobs and be home to 200,000 Saudi Arabian residents.
As the city of knowledge, this city will be home to an Islamic theme park which will focus on entertainment and education. In addition to an education-based theme park, there are plans for hotels, public transportation, and shopping complexes.
Tallest Architectural Structure in the World
A Saudi Arabian Prince, and billionaire, Alwaleed Bin Talal dedicated about 927 million pounds to build the Kingdom Tower. This structure in Jeddah Saudi Arabia will stand as the world’s tallest architectural structure.
At over 1 kilometre tall and standing on foundations that dive 60 meters deep the Kingdom Tower is on track to see completion in 2019. Megaprojects like the Kingdom Tower usually have the government behind it hoping to bring in tourists, create jobs, and engage the city. However, this megaproject, and it’s privately backed billionaire is a step away from the Saudi Arabian standard.
The Mega City, Neom
Investors for the city of Neom include multiple Saudi Arabian government departments, as well as numerous private investors that want a piece of this pie. The plans for Neom estimate it for completion no later than 2030. The goal of this mega project is to increase foreign direct investment.
Neom was initially the vision of the Crown Prince. His ambitious goal is to transform the Saudi Arabia’s economy completely. Neom will not only stand as a mega city but function as a futuristic city and propel Saudi Arabia into the post-oil era that is sweeping the globe.
The megacity Neom has already boosted foreign investment into Saudi Arabia and built the structure of businesses in Saudi Arabia. Although the crown prince created a stir with his anti-corruption business purge recently, the hope for Neom’s future inspired many positive business relationships.
With a 527 billion pounds budget, the big question for the city of Neom is if it’s going ever to see completion. Although the Crown Prince is behind the project, it relies on the Kingdom to finance only a portion of the city’s construction. Private investors are the saving grace of Neom.
Mega Projects in Saudi Arabia
The many mega projects in Saudi Arabia are currently the hope of Saudi Arabia when it comes to change, optimizing modern culture while honouring its history, and hosting economic growth. However, the biggest struggle is the price tag that these cities, architectural structures, and transpiration projects have. Instead of segmenting projects, spanning budgets and slowly developing areas, the country is diving in and tackling the hard projects now.
Saudi Arabia is counting on the strategy of doing everything all at once. They’re using megacities to impact the country’s economy in a meaningful way. Each of the megacities currently in construction will perform a specific function within Saudi Arabia’s economy. Then the two major transportation projects, Riyadh’s underground system, and the landbridge will ensure that these cities can exist as a unit.
The country has shown great success in finding megaprojects that will create jobs and allow for comfortable housing of thousands of people. Instead of hoping for success in minor projects, this is a unique attempt of forcing positive relationships, and reform by projecting themselves into the future.