Saudi Arabia has announced that it will be investing $23 billion in building new welfare projects such as a massive central park and sports facilities to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle while continuing its economic diversification.
The four projects that were launched include the King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Riyadh Art and Green Riyadh, the country’s official press agency said in a statement.
Stretching over 13.4 square kilometer area, the King Salman Park will also include a vertical garden and an open theatre. The massive park will have an art section, 16 hotels, seven museums and a golf course. It will also have 12,000 residential units as well.
Meanwhile the sports boulevard project will include bicycle routes and horse-riding areas as part of the government’s plans to encourage an active lifestyle among the citizens. The city will also be increasing its per capita green space to 28 square meters from the current 1.7 square meters.
Work on the projects is expected to start in the second half of this year with most of them to be completed between 2023 and 2030. These projects would create about 70,000 jobs and will create investment opportunities worth $13 billion for the private sector.
The world’s biggest oil exporter is gradually weaning its economy of oil revenues - it’s source of income for decades. The Kingdom is aiming to improve the participation of the private sector to fuel growth.
Saudi Arabia is also building NEOM, a $500 billion city off its coast and is also planning to develop tourism as it mulls providing on arrival visas to certain nationalities.