2023 Megaprojects in Saudi Arabia.

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Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan, which seeks to reduce the kingdom’s reliance on oil revenue and nurture local industries, includes a number of large projects that are well underway across the country.

With a stronger focus on the future, they are set to open up new areas of economic activity and create thousands of jobs.

Here’s what the kingdom can expect:

Neom
The $500 billion Neom smart city in the northwestern part of the kingdom is a central project in Saudi Vision 2030 and the most ambitious.

As the kingdom transitions away from an oil-based economy, it will be entirely powered by clean energy.

With its offerings, it will challenge the traditional concept of cities and lifestyle, as first unveiled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2017.

So far, Neom has announced four major projects: The Line, Trojena, Oxagon, and Sindalah.

Theย Line
It doesn’t get much bigger than this.

The city will be 170 kilometers long and 500 meters tall, with a population of nine million people. The structure will have a mirrored facade.

It will be a new way of life in artificially intelligent interconnected societies.

Drone footage released in October showed heavy equipment clearing the site in preparation for construction.

The Line project is the first major urban development in 150 years designed around people rather than roads.

All essential daily services, such as schools, medical clinics, recreation centers, and green spaces, will be a five-minute walk away.

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Sindalah
This will be the first destination in Neom that is open to the public.

It is an 840,000-square-metre-large resort island and yachting paradise in the Red Sea, with views of the Neom mainland, luxury hotels, a large marina, beach club, yacht club, spa, and wellness center.

Sindalah is scheduled to open in early 2024. By 2028, the island is expected to receive 2,400 visitors per day. Approximately 3,500 jobs are expected to be created as a result of the project.

Trojena
Skiing in the desert? That’s correct.

The province of Tabuk is mountainous, with snowfall during the winter. And Neom is capitalizing on the climate to provide outdoor sports and the first major outdoor skiing destination in the GCC.

Trojena will host the Asian Winter Games in 2029, making it the first country in Western Asia to do so, with more than 32 countries expected to participate.

Trojena has been divided into distinct districts by the project’s planners, who anticipate that different types of tourists will visit depending on the time of year.

Bechtel, one of the world’s largest industrial contractors, has been named as Trojena’s project management consultant.

Oxagon
The final segment of Neom (for the time being) is a futuristic industrial city that will be the world’s largest floating industrial complex.

“It will help Saudi Arabia’s regional trade and commerce, as well as support the creation of a new focal point for global trade flows,” Prince Mohammed said.

By 2030, it is expected to have a population of 90,000 people and create 70,000 jobs.

Oxagon, like the rest of Neom, will be a net-zero city powered entirely by clean energy.

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AlUla
The heritage site, with its preserved tombs and sandstone outcrops, is already a popular tourist destination, but there will be more in the future.

There will be nine new hotels opening, including a boutique resort at Unesco-listed Hegra.

AlUla is expected to contribute approximately 120 billion riyals ($32 billion) to the Saudi economy.

According to the AlUla Royal Commission, the area’s population will triple to 130,000 by 2035, creating approximately 38,000 new jobs.

The Red Sea Project
The project, which is an important part of Saudi Arabia’s tourism movement, is set in a 28,000-square-kilometer area that includes an archipelago of 92 islands, 50 dormant volcanoes, mountain ranges, and sand dunes.

The first phase, which includes 16 hotels with 3,000 rooms, an international airport, a marina, an 18-hole championship golf course, luxury second homes, and retail and entertainment centers, is set to open this year.

Developer Red Sea Global has dubbed it “one of the world’s last true hidden treasures,” and it is expected that 75% of the destination’s islands will be preserved for conservation.

TRSDC signs hotel management agreement with Grand Hyatt to operate resort in first phase of development at The Red Sea Project. Photo: The Red Sea Development Company

Amaala

Another tourism-focused project, this one will include yachting and wellness activities, as well as a strong emphasis on sustainability.

It will be within three hours of flying time for 250 million people because it is located on the northwestern coast.

The first phase of development, Triple Bay, is scheduled to be completed in 2024 and will include six hotels and over 1,000 rooms.

When finished in 2027, it will have 3,000 rooms in 25 hotels, 200 high-end retail establishments, fine dining, and wellness and recreational amenities spread across three communities.

Qiddiya
The Public Investment Fund project aims to make the city a center for entertainment, sports, and the arts, as well as a global tourism destination.

A Six Flags theme park, a Jack Nicklaus championship golf course, a water park, a speed park, and a sports stadium will be among its attractions.

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When finished in 2027, it will have 3,000 rooms in 25 hotels, 200 high-end retail establishments, fine dining, and wellness and recreational amenities spread across three communities.

Ad Diriyah:
The 300-year-old city is being transformed into an educational, cultural, recreational, and hospitality center. It is considered the birthplace and capital of the first Saudi state.

One of the project’s primary goals is to preserve and protect the mud-brick city of At-Turaif, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

A new 20,000-seat performance arena, an opera house, a contemporary Saudi art museum, and a convention center are all in the works.

Diriyah Bridge I will feature 18 hotels within the mixed-use traditional urban community, which will be built in an authentic Najdi architectural style, typical of Saudi villages, using the same mud bricks and plaster used centuries ago while also providing modern amenities.

Diriyah Gate II is planned to be a Parisian-scale, pedestrian-focused, mixed-use development with all of the cultural entertainment assets, whereas Diriyah Gate 3 will be primarily residential.

Ad Diriyah was once an ancient trade and pilgrimage route, as well as a meeting point for travelers to and from Asia, Africa, and Europe.

By 2030, the $50.6 billion heritage megaproject hopes to attract 27 million domestic and international visitors.

King Salman Park
The King Salman Air Base, formerly Riyadh Airport, is being transformed into one of the world’s largest city parks.

Excavation and construction activities for the Visitors Pavilion and the Royal Arts Complex were completed last year. Bridges and tunnels, as well as the first-phase infrastructure, will be completed this year.

The park will be 16 square kilometers in size and will include sports facilities, a golf course, and an equestrian center.

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