Five years after Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman launched the Saudi Vision 2030, the current year of 2021 recorded a practical movement on the ground for the execution of the Vision projects.
The design phases of the projects have been completed, apart from developing strategies, and mapping out technical details and design visions, especially the pillars of the Vision, prior to stepping into the execution phase.
The mega Vision projects that, upon completion, are expected to constitute a unique global model in sustainability, environmental protection, nature conservation, quality of life and job generation.
Despite the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects that predominantly impacted the global scene, Saudi Arabia continues to announce the executive programs for the mega projects.
Since the beginning of the year 2021, the Crown Prince has launched a number of pivotal projects, including the announcement of THE LINE, the cleanest and smartest city, which is a world class model of future cities; the launch of the designs of the islands of the “Red Sea” Project; and new AlUla Development Program titled “A Journey Through Time.”
In addition, the year saw the launch of the SR11 billion “Souda Development Project; opening of the first “alternative energy” projects in Sakaka; the announcement of the “Riyadh strategy” and the strategy of the Public Investment Fund as well as the launching of a landmark public-private partnership titled “Shareek.”
As these projects and programs are set to generate more than 1.6 million jobs at the minimum level, the recent great initiatives clearly prove the merit and seriousness of the Saudi approach to complete the Vision projects and achieve its goals unhindered under any circumstances.
The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 has succeeded in creating large economic sectors that will stimulate the country’s gross domestic product, foremost of which is the shift to tourism where there has been system with getting ready of governmental and financing agencies specialized for the tourism sector, and has worked to integrate it with the major Vision projects.
One of the most important goals of the Kingdom’s Vision is the Quality of Life Program and the raising of Saudis’ ownership of housing. Recent statistical figures reveal that hundreds of thousands of Saudi families have benefited from home ownership financing programs.
The Saudi Vision 2030 projects, which represent the main development pillars, have had a kick-start effect at the executional level at the end of the planning and elaborate strategy devising phases.
The current year can be described as the year of execution and the start of the construction work for projects that are classified as the largest of their kind in the world.
These projects are set to form an exemplary international model in terms of quality, environmental friendliness, sustainability, and the use of renewable and alternative energy.
When going through the details of these projects, we can see that they constitute the pillars of the Vision.
In the beginning of the year 2021, specifically on Jan. 10, Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, chairman of the Board of Directors of NEOM, announced THE LINE project, which is tipped as a cornerstone of Saudi Vision 2030 and an economic engine for the Kingdom.
THE LINE is a huge, new zero-carbon city at NEOM, a mega project and a key pillar of the Vision 2030. THE LINE, which will be home to a million people and have no cars and no streets, has put the Kingdom in the forefront of countries pursuing the establishment of modern cities.
It would be realization of a revolution in urban living at NEOM, and a blueprint for how people and planet can co-exist in harmony.
THE LINE represents an iconic eco-friendly urban city free of carbon emissions and a model for what humanity aspires for in preserving the planet, which is consistent with the data of the quality of life and the activation of technical energy and artificial intelligence.
Upon announcing the project, the Crown Prince described that the launch of “THE LINE” at this particular time comes as the outcome of the preparations and planning of the past three years.
He stressed that the project, which begins its development in the first quarter of 2021, forms an important part of the intensive development work under way in NEOM. It will also be technically integrated with all systems within the city.
According to the latest official data, THE LINE will be the cleanest city in the world. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has defined that NEOM will have the largest urban nature reserve covering 95 percent of its land and sea.
THE LINE will also work to achieve economic diversification goals by providing 380,000 job opportunities, and contributing to add SR180 billion ($48 billion) to the GDP by 2030.
Before the euphoria over the announcement about launching of THE LINE had subsided, the Crown Prince made another great announcement at the end of January, unveiling strategic features for the development of the city of Riyadh, which will transform the Saudi capital into one of the ten largest city economies in the world.
He emphasized that this comes as part of plans for the diversification of sources of income and development of the country’s economy, as global economies are based on cities.
Crown Prince Muhammad, during his participation in the fourth session of the Future Investment Initiative, said that the details of the strategy will be announced soon, while stressing that it targets with an assumption of reaching the population of Riyadh between 15 and 20 million in 2030, and that it will also host the largest industrial city in the world.
According to Eng. Fahd Al-Rasheed, head of the Royal Commission for Riyadh, the strategy will contain nearly 100 initiatives and projects. He revealed that the volume of government investments, represented by the Royal Commission, Public Investment Fund and other investment arms, is amounted to $220 billion.
In conjunction with the announcement of the Riyadh strategy, a government decision was made public to stop government contracting with foreign companies that do not have their main regional headquarters in Riyadh.
Eventually, as many as 24 global companies are racing against time to conclude agreements to establish their major regional offices in the Saudi capital, in a step described as contributing to doubling the size of the economy, and achieving giant leaps in job creation and expanding investments.
On Feb. 10, Crown Prince Muhammad, who is also chairman of the Board of Directors of “The Red Sea Development Company” (TRSDC), launched the design vision of the “Coral Bloom,” a luxury Red Sea project on the main island of Shurayrah.
The project is designed by a British architectural company Foster + Partners, to blend in with the island’s pristine natural environment. The dolphin-shaped Shurayrah island, which is one of the 90 islands the project covers, will be home to “Coral Bloom” and serve as the hub island for the project.
Commenting on the project, John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC, said the Coral Bloom designs, take their inspiration from the incredible flora and fauna found uniquely in Saudi Arabia. There will be 11 hotels on Shurayrah.
Shurayrah Island’s 11 resorts and hotels are to be operated by a number of the most famous global hospitality brands, while the project, upon completion in 2030, will target one million visitors annually. Construction has begun at the new international airport of which the first phase will be completed in 2022.
According to the latest information received from the company, the Red Sea project has reached important milestones in the construction works, and work is progressing to receive guests early next year with the opening of the international airport and the first hotels.
The Employee Residential City is scheduled to welcome employees in the second quarter of 2021, as well as the staff area by the end of this year.
Last month, Saudi Arabia continued its movement on the ground as the Crown Prince launched an ambitious and vibrant program to strengthen the partnership between the government and private sectors called Shareek or partner, and accelerate the achievement of the strategic goals of increasing the resilience of the economy and supporting prosperity and sustainable growth.
He said that the program, which will continue until 2030, aims to consolidate the Kingdom’s reputation as a sustainable, ambitious, and thriving global economic powerhouse.
In his speech, the Crown Prince said: “We are inaugurating a new and more powerful era in terms of cooperation and partnership between the government and private sectors, by announcing a program to strengthen partnership with the private sector (partner), with the aim of supporting local companies and enabling them to reach a volume of local investments of up to SR5 trillion ($1.3 trillion) by the end of 2030.
According to the Crown Prince, the total of what Saudi Arabia will spend during the next ten years will be SR27 trillion ($7 trillion), as the coming years will witness a jump in investments by SR3 trillion through the Public Investment Fund until 2030, in addition to SR4 trillion that will be pumped under the umbrella of the National Investment Strategy, bringing the total investment to be pumped into the national economy SR12 trillion until 2030.
This is in addition to government spending an estimated at SR10 trillion ($2.6 trillion) in addition to private consumption spending expected to reach SR5 trillion until 2030.