DUBAI: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a company on Thursday to carry out a massive development in downtown Riyadh, as part of the country’s plans to transform its capital into a global metropolis and diversify its economy.
The kingdom plans to invest $800 billion in total to double the size and population of its capital city as part of its Vision 2030 plan to modernize the Gulf Arab state and reduce its reliance on oil export revenues.
The New Murabba Development Company’s project, according to the state news agency SPA, will include a museum, a technology and design university, a multi-purpose immersive theatre, and more than 80 cultural and entertainment venues.
With a completion date of 2030 – just in time for Expo 2030, which Saudi Arabia has bid to host – the development will cover an area of 19 square kilometers northwest of Riyadh and house hundreds of thousands of people.
According to the SPA, all of this is part of the Saudi sovereign Public Investment Fund’s (PIF) plans to empower the private sector, support real estate projects and local infrastructure, and diversify the economy’s income sources.
It was estimated that the project would add 180 billion riyals ($48 billion) to non-oil GDP and create 334,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2030.
“The New Murabba project will be built around the concept of sustainability, with green areas and walking and cycling paths that will enhance the quality of life by promoting healthy, active lifestyles and community activities,” according to the SPA.