Saudi Arabia Advances $22.5 Billion Riyadh Metro Project to Transform Urban Mobility and Economy

The $22.5 billion Riyadh Metro project is a monumental engineering achievement designed to transform Saudi Arabia’s capital into an international business hub. Covering 109 miles with six lines and 85 stations, this project represents one of the largest single-phase metro constructions worldwide. Beyond its physical scale, the metro is part of Saudi Arabia’s broader ambition to diversify its economy, enhance its global image, and prepare for significant events like the World Expo 2030 and potentially the 2034 World Cup. The initiative reflects the kingdom’s investment in infrastructure to support growth, tourism, and improve its standing on the international stage, amid challenges including environmental conditions, labor concerns, and project delays.

  • The Riyadh Metro spans 109 miles, featuring six lines and 85 stations, making it one of the world’s largest metro projects undertaken in a single phase.
  • With a budget of $22.5 billion, the project is a key element of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to transform Riyadh into a global business hub and double its population by 2030.
  • Saudi Arabia aims to improve its international image and diversify its economy through infrastructure projects, ahead of hosting the World Expo 2030 and possibly the 2034 World Cup.
  • The project faced challenges including harsh desert conditions, labor issues, and delays due to the pandemic and financial disputes.
  • Construction involves international and local firms, with efforts to adapt to the extreme temperatures and sandstorms typical of the desert environment.
  • Human rights concerns have been raised regarding labor practices, paralleling issues seen in other Gulf states with large migrant worker populations.
  • The Riyadh Metro is seen as crucial for linking various mega-projects across the city, supporting the kingdom’s broader economic and social transformation goals.

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