Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Economy on New Threshold of Growth following Diversification of Investments | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Public Investment Fund.

Riyadh – The mega projects in Saudi Arabia announced by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) have become a new frontier on the country’s investment map.

These mega projects, announced by one of the world’s biggest investment funds, carry great opportunities for investment, diversification of the economy, creation of thousands of jobs for Saudi youth, localization of the tourism industry and enhancement of their contribution to the GDP.

These major developments come at a time when Saudi Arabia is preparing to launch the Future Investment Initiative (FII), which is a pioneering new global investment event that will connect the world’s most powerful investors, business and intellectual leaders and public officials with groundbreaking innovations that are defining the future.

The initiative, which is hosted and organized by PIF in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, will be sponsored by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and its activities will be launched from the Kingdom’s capital, Riyadh, between October 24 and 27.

In this context, PIF announced that it is preparing to launch “Rou’a Al Haram” (Haram Vision), a development company set to increase capacity for pilgrims and visitors to the Grand Holy Mosque performing the annual Hajj or Umrah.

“Rou’a Al Haram” will act as a catalyst for developing the areas around the holy sites and improving the quality of services in the local hospitality sector.

The company’s establishment is in line with Vision 2030, which aims to provide an opportunity for the largest possible number of Muslims to perform the Hajj and Umrah and to enrich and deepen their experience through the development of the two Holy Mosques. The number of people visiting Makkah for the pilgrimages is expected to reach more than 30 million by 2030.

“Rou’a Al Haram” will raise the level of development in the areas surrounding the Grand Holy Mosque, making it among the best examples of development worldwide.

In addition, it will support job creation and investment as part of a wider plan to diversify the national economy.

Initial preparation works are currently underway, with construction due to start in 2018. The first phase of the project is anticipated to be launched in 2024.

The projects will create around 160,000 job opportunities by 2030, with an estimated annual contribution to GDP of eight billion Saudi riyals.

In addition, PIF announced the establishment of the “Rou’a Al Madinah” company, which will deliver projects designed to increase capacity for pilgrims and visitors to the Prophet’s Mosque, while also enriching spiritual and cultural experiences across the holy city of al-Madinah.

Preliminary estimates indicate that the total number of annual visitors to al-Madinah will increase to 23 million by 2030.

The company aims to develop a 1.3 million square meter site no more than 1,000 meters away from the east wing of the Prophet’s Mosque.

The project will see the development of 500 new housing units and 80,000 hotel rooms, increasing hotel capacity to receive 240,000 guests per day, in addition to increasing the number of prayer areas to accommodate 200,000 worshipers per day.