Prince Salman chairs joint meeting of Riyadh development organization, higher committee for projects

Governor of Riyadh briefed on strategic overall planning for the Saudi capital

Most important achievements obtained through strategic planning in 8 years

Prince Salman Ibn Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh Province, who is also Chairman of High Commission for the Development of Riyadh, chaired last week a joint meeting of the Commission and Executive High Committee for Projects and Planning in Riyadh.

The Acting Head of the Commission's Center of Projects and Planning Eng. Ibrahim Bin Mohammed Al-Sultan said that the meeting was briefed on the results of updating the comprehensive strategic plan of the city of Riyadh including a joint working program for all institutions in the city.

He pointed out that the past eight years, since the approval of the plan, have witnessed satisfactory achievements and results and the percentage of the executed projects or those which are under construction, is 65%, including the sectors of urban development (82%), economy (33%), environment (64%), utilities and public services (70%), transport (68%), and urban management (72%), as well as 75% for other programs, and projects in the strategic plan.

New plans to build a 1,447-km-long floodwater drainage system in the Riyadh region and expand its sanitary water network by 3,755 km were unveiled last week.

The announcement followed a meeting of top officials involved with Riyadh’s strategic development, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Prince Salman chaired the joint meeting with the High Commission for Development of Riyadh and Executive Committee for Projects and Planning for the City of Riyadh.

About 100 new development schemes will be implemented in the Riyadh region in the next 20 years, said Ibrahim Al-Sultan, head of projects and planning center. Projects include a light rail, a public bus system, and two additional belt roads, SPA said, citing the official.

The belt roads will be 120 km and 150 km long, the report said.

The updated plan for the Riyadh region highlights the needs to create 770,000 jobs for Saudi nationals and build 550,000 housing units by 2028, according to the report.

Al-Sultan said the comprehensive strategic plan, adopted eight years ago, had produced satisfactory results.

He said environmental development of Wadi Hanifa formed a key part of the new initiatives.

The Riyadh authorities reviewed the plan that will see the Saudi capital city create 770,000 jobs for Saudis over the next 20 years and build 550,000 housing units by May 14, 2029.

Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz presided over the review of the comprehensive strategic plan for the city at the authority’s headquarters. It took place at a joint meeting of the authority and the Higher Executive Committee for Projects and Planning for Riyadh.

The authorities plan to complete 65 percent of the policies and 75 percent of programs and projects, which includes the program to create jobs and build houses. It also includes the completion of sanitation drainage systems and a floodwater network for areas without these services.

Sultan said 75 percent of the programs, projects and plans in the strategic plan is complete and work is going on to complete the remaining tasks.

He said the most important decisions taken in the urban-development sector include the start of the King Abdullah Financial Center and approval of the structural plan for northern and eastern Riyadh where development projects are being carried out.

Other important projects include the start of the development programs for Al-Dera’iah Historical Area; setting up 15 administrative centers, 35 municipal open areas and 15 other municipal courtyards within 100 municipal courtyards planned for the city of Riyadh; and execution of projects for ministries, government institutions and public services.

More than 180 kilometers of express and subsidiary roads were constructed during the first and second five-year plans 1422 to 1427H and 1428 to 1432H, he said.

In the environment sector, the authority has started executing the executive plan for protecting the environment, he added.

The plan includes 48 programs and projects: execution of the environmental rehabilitation project for Wadi Hanifa of 80 kilometers; approval of three reserves within Wadi Hanifa, including Al-Haisiyah Valley Reserve, the reserve for the upstream area of Wadi Liban, southern Hayer Reserve; and erecting 100 tents in the desert area as the first stage of Al-Thumamah recreation area, said Al-Sultan.

In the utilities sector, execution of the strategic plan for water has started. It includes starting construction on the desalination plant at Ras Al-Zor and the pipeline to Riyadh; expanding the capacity of Salboukh, Al-Buwaib and Nissah fields; execution of 12,000 kilometers of water-distribution networks to cover all developed areas of the city; and execution of the strategic plan for sanitation drainage, which includes 5,000 kilometers of pipelines, he said.

In the economic sector, work has started on the communications and information technology complex; the Riyadh Techno Valley project; numerous library, commercial and housing projects throughout the city on a total area of 327 square kilometers; and industrial estates in the city on a total area of 23 square kilometers.