Riyadh: Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud launched an ambitious programme of projects in the Riyadh region worth billions, which will enhance the living standards of residents in a province that he has helped to shape for more than 50 years, Arab News reported.
The 1,281 development projects in the Saudi capital and surrounding towns will cost about SAR82 billion ($22 billion).
The multi-billion dollar projects aim to enhance crucial infrastructure, such as transportation and housing, and improve amenities, the environment and education.
The programme includes: 15 housing projects in Riyadh and its governorates, in line with the objectives of Vision 2030 to increase house ownership among citizens; the establishment of the largest Islamic museum in the capital; a huge environmental project for the lakes south of the capital covering an area of 315,000 square metres; sports cities; seven medical cities; 16 educational projects; quality entertainment facilities; the expansion of airports; and the development and upgrading of the road network.
Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar announced the projects during an official inauguration ceremony at Qasr Al Hukm, in the presence of King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other dignitaries.
They are part of a wider programme of 2,830 projects planned for Riyadh at a total cost of SAR338 billion, which are expected to create tens of thousands of job opportunities for young men and women.
Meanwhile, the Saudi monarch issued orders to release all citizens of the region jailed on financial charges who are not involved in criminal cases, whose debts do not exceed SAR1 million and whose insolvency can be proved. He also ordered the payment of their debts.
Considered the "engineer" of the city, King Salman served as governor of Riyadh for almost five decades, during which he oversaw the transformation of the Saudi capital into a modern, thriving metropolis and one of the most important cities in the Middle East.