Saudi Arabia project development boom


Saudi Arabia Sports & Entertainment projects of the future Image: Saudi Olympic & Paralympic Committee and Saudi2027 (X)

Developers in Saudi Arabia are gearing up for a construction bonanza with a number of stadium projects on the cards, as well as work on the country’s Mega Projects and Expo 2030.

As it gears up to host the 2027 AFC Asian Cup and the 2034 FIFA World Cup, Saudi Arabia is upgrading stadia and building new venues, including dozens of training centres.

In June 2023, Saudi Arabia’s Sports Ministry invited construction companies to submit prequalification documents for contracts to build sports stadiums as part of its $2.7 billion capital projects program.
The projects are split into four principal elements. The largest of these, and the most immediate, is the construction of a new stadium to the North of Riyadh and the upgrade of the five existing football stadiums. The projects are:

  • Increasing the capacity of the 67,000-capacity King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh to 92,000 seats. The existing fabric roof will be upgraded and provided with new LED uplighting. A360-degree video board will also be installed around the front edge of the roof. The project also includes the construction and renovation of the main building, a multi-purpose sports hall, five-a-side football pitches and a training field, a theatre and exhibition space, and a football and futsal academy.
  • Expanding the seating capacity of Riyadh’s 22,500-capacity Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium to 45,000
  • Increasing the capacity of the 26,000-capacity Prince Mohammed bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam to 30,000 seats
  • An increase in the seating capacity of the 11,000-capacity Prince Saud bin Jalawi Stadium in Khobar to 45,000
  • The construction of a new, sustainable Qiddiya Stadium in the North of Riyadh with 45,000 seats.

Most of these projects are expected to be completed in just over two years, with the King Fahd International Stadium project running for two-and-a-half years.

Other projects include the construction of the 27,000 seat Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium in Jeddah, as well as the Jeddah Central Development Stadium and stadiums at Neom and Qiddiya.

Construction on the training centres is slated to get underway in July 2024.

2030 World Expo

Apart from sport, Saudi will also be hosting the World Expo in 2030 under the banner: Riyadh Expo 2030 I The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow

The upcoming World Expo is organised and sanctioned by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE).

It will take place for six months during late 2030 and early 2031, opening on 1 October 2030 and closing on 31 March 2031.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is the roadmap for a journey focused on nurturing a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation.

Riyadh Expo 2030 will be a perfect occasion for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to share the story of an unprecedented national transformation with other nations and the global public.

Located in the north of Riyadh close to King Khalid International airport (KKIA), the Expo is expected to attract 40 million visitors.

It is likely to be served by an extension to the Riyadh metro and a dedicated station.

The Riyadh Metro is a rapid transit system under construction in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. It is part of the King Abdulaziz Project for Riyadh Public Transport and will consist of six metro lines spanning a total length of 176 kilometres (109 mi), with 85 stations. The project will cost $22.5 billion to build. It is expected to open to passengers in 2024.
Other Saudi Mega Projects on the boards include:

The Line, a vertical city that will eventually house around 9 million residents. Stretching over 170 kilometres but only 200 metres wide, The Line is envisioned as a carbon-neutral vertical city that would avoid the use of cars through its walkable, dense design. It would contain all necessities of city living including homes, schools, workspaces and parks directly accessible by foot, public transport or through a high-speed rail network.

Diriyah is the home of the At-Turaif UNESCO World Heritage Site, a beautifully preserved mud-brick city that was the birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the original home of House Al Saud. This $62.2bn development, a giga-project under the Public Investment Fund, offers a unique opportunity to visit, live, work, shop, dine, and celebrate the wonder of the birthplace of the Kingdom’s rich heritage and culture.

Qiddiya is a huge new entertainment city being built near Riyadh. It is part of the Saudi Vision 2030 program, which aims to diversify the Saudi economy. Qiddiya will feature theme parks, sports facilities, arts venues, and attractions focused on sports, nature, mobility, and culture. It aims to create jobs, empower the local population, especially youth and women, and attract both domestic and international visitors.

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