Constructing Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is currently experiencing rapid growth in its construction industry. The government has invested heavily in large-scale projects that are designed to further diversify the nation’s economy, stimulate economic growth, and improve the quality of life for Saudi citizens. These include developing alternative sources of energy, constructing new cities and public transportation systems, and building entirely new cities designed to break away from traditional urban planning and zoning.
In this article, we'll explore some of Saudi Arabia's most exciting and ground-breaking new construction projects, in the context of our Construction Spotlight insights.
The Latest Mega Projects Transforming KSA
The Saudi government has approved and is currently implementing some of the largest construction projects in the world, with a total value of more than $1 trillion since Vision 2030 was launched in 2016. Here are a few of the most significant projects currently underway.
NEOM is a new purpose-built city that’s being designed to become a global hub for innovation, business, and cutting-edge research. The project is set to span more than 26,000 square kilometers of land in the northwest corner of Saudi Arabia, currently comprising three main regions which include a linear city, an industrial zone, and a ski resort in the mountains.
In addition to eventually providing housing for over 9 million people, NEOM will include commercial real estate, manufacturing facilities, schools, hospitals, an airport, seaports, and more. Construction began in 2018 and the government aims to begin welcoming tourists to the region by 2024.
Here’s a breakdown of the region's three main zones.
The Oxagon is a port city built as part of NEOM, with the goal of transforming the way residents work and live. Designed to be a hub for technological innovation, the port city aims to also be a global gateway for world trade and redefine the world's approach to industrial development.
Trojena is located in the mountains of NEOM and will include a ski resort, hiking and biking trails, hotels, and more. With temperatures 10 degrees lower on average compared to surrounding regions, this scenic area is expected to attract tourists from all over the world.
Perhaps Saudi Arabia's most ground-breaking construction project to date, The Line is a new metropolis that aims to break away from traditional planning and zoning restrictions. It’s unlike traditional cities which are generally constructed as sprawling metropolises, with a central hub and then more suburban-style areas on the outskirts.
The Line will be built in a linear fashion, cutting through the surrounding desert, with a total length of 170km. The mirrored structure will consist of 500-meter-high walls, with separate internal levels for living spaces, commercial activity, and leisure. Residents will be able to travel from one end of the city to another in just 20 minutes thanks to a high-speed rail. The city aims to be fueled entirely by renewable energy.
Riyadh residents will soon be able to enjoy a much easier commute thanks to the new Riyadh Metro. The project includes six lines, totaling 176 kilometers of track, with the goal of serving up to 100,000 people per day. This ambitious transportation project aims to open its doors by the end of 2022.
Qiddiya is a massive new entertainment city that’s being built outside of Riyadh. The project will include sports, water and adventure activities such as a motorsports complex, a zoo, a performing arts center, and much more. The project is slated to open by 2023.
Red Sea Project
The Red Sea Project is a massive tourism development project that will transform the coastline along Saudi Arabia's Red Sea into a playground for adventure seekers and luxury travelers alike. The project will include over 50 resorts, featuring marinas, luxury hotels, beach villas and unparalleled diving and snorkeling opportunities. The first phase of the project is set to open in 2024, with a total completion date expected by 2030.
What Else is on the Horizon?
While these major projects are currently set to be completed in the coming years, there are many more construction projects also in development that could have a transformative impact on KSA and its economy. Some of these include a land reclaim project in Al Khobar, a land bridge linking Jeddah and Riyadh, and many smaller projects including upgrades to the country's road networks and ports.
Overall, it’s clear that KSA is undergoing a period of rapid growth and development, with major construction projects underway across the country to help transform the economy and improve the quality of life for residents.