Riyadh to transform into a social and cultural hub for the Middle East
An ambitious $800 billion plan has been unveiled by Riyadh's city planning chief, to help transform the Saudi capital into a social and cultural hub.
Ahead of an up-coming G20 urban development summit, a bold roadmap was presented by Fahd Al-Rasheed, president of the Royal Commission for the City of Riyadh, with the goal to double the city's population to 15 million people and establish it as an artistic and cultural hub.
Aiming to meet the country's lofty Vision 2030 goals, the new plan also includes the potential creation of an opera house, as well as public art shows with 1,000 works commissioned from around the world.
Speaking to Arab News, Mr. Al-Rasheed claimed that the size of the creative arm of the project was so bold that “we have not seen anything like it since Renaissance Florence.”
According to Arab News, approximately $250 billion in investment is expected from the private sector, with the same amount generated by increased economic activity from population growth, finance and banking, cultural and desert tourism, and leisure events.
The issue of sustainability is also high on the agenda, with the proposal calling for seven million trees planted in Riyadh in the next few years. "King Salman Park will be bigger than Hyde Park in London,” said Al-Rasheed.
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