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Saudi Arabia is aiming for a huge new city center in Riyadh by 2030

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a company on Thursday to undertake a hugely ambitious development in central Riyadh, as part of the leading oil exporter’s plans to turn its capital into a global metropolis and diversify its economy.

The kingdom aims to double the size and population of the capital with total investments of $800 billion under its Vision 2030 plan to modernize the Arab Gulf state and reduce its dependence on oil export revenue.

State news agency SPA said the New Murabba Development Company’s project would include a museum, a technology and design university, an immersive multi-purpose theater and more than 80 cultural and entertainment venues.

With a 2030 completion date – in time for Expo 2030, which Saudi Arabia has bid to host – the development will spread over an area of ​​19 square kilometers northwest of Riyadh and provide housing for hundreds of thousands of residents.

SPA said it all fell under the Saudi Sovereign Public Investment Fund’s (PIF) plans to strengthen the private sector, support real estate projects and local infrastructure, and diversify the economy’s sources of income.

It said the project was expected to add 180 billion riyals ($48.00 billion) to non-oil GDP and create 334,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2030.

“The new Murabba project will be built around the concept of sustainability, with green spaces and walking and cycling routes that will improve the quality of life by promoting a healthy, active lifestyle and community activities,” SPA added.

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