Saudi Arabia’s Transformation: 18 Megaprojects Shaping the Kingdom’s Future

Nama Venture Venture Capital

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is undergoing a remarkable transformation driven by 18 ambitious megaprojects and a burgeoning venture capital (VC) scene. These forces are intertwined, shaping the nation’s future as it seeks to diversify its economy and reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons.

1. Neom: A futuristic $500 billion giga-project powered by clean energy, aiming to challenge traditional urban concepts.
2. Red Sea Project: A luxury eco-tourism development on the West Coast, featuring overwater villas and new mangrove habitats.
3. AlUla: A vast heritage site being transformed into a cultural capital, with plans for over 7,500 hotel rooms and 5,000 residential units.
4. Diriyah: A $62.2 billion development showcasing Saudi history, restoring Diriyah Gate and featuring King Salman Boulevard and the Royal Diriyah Opera House.
5. Qiddiya Project: A gigantic entertainment, sports, and cultural development with a Six Flags theme park, a Jack Nicklaus golf course, and the world’s first gaming and esports district.
6. Sports Boulevard: Planned to be the world’s largest linear park, stretching over 135km and offering various sports facilities.
7. Amaala: A luxury wellness and tourism destination on the north-western coast, powered by 100% renewable energy.
8. King Salman Park: One of the world’s largest city parks, envisioned as Riyadh’s “green lung” with sports amenities and an equestrian center.
9. Jeddah Central: A $20 billion project developing over 5 million square meters in Jeddah, featuring six districts and four new landmarks.
10. Marafy: A mixed-use megaproject north of Jeddah featuring an 11km canal and waterfront comparable to Chicago and London.
11. Masar: A 1.2 square kilometer urban development in Makkah with a central pedestrian boulevard leading to the Al Haram Mosque.
12. Mohammed bin Salman Non-profit City (Misk): A district incubating youth volunteer groups, non-profit institutions, and venture capital firms in Riyadh.
13. Thakher Makkah: A master plan of hotels, residential, commercial, and service-related projects valued at 26 billion riyals.
14. New Murabba: Riyadh’s new downtown featuring a giant cube called the Mukaab, offering immersive virtual technology experiences, alongside vast retail, office, and leisure space.
15. Expo 2030 Riyadh site: A futuristic city hosting the global expo, featuring a “loop of the world” avenue and over 200 pavilions.
16. Riyadh Metro: A $22.5 billion project with six metro lines connecting 85 stations across a 176 km network, expected to be completed this year.
17. Jeddah Metro: A planned three-line metro network expected to be completed by 2025.
18. Venture Capital Growth: Fueling innovation alongside megaprojects, VC funding in Saudi Arabia has witnessed exponential growth, exceeding $1.2 billion in 2022. Leading VC firms like Nama Ventures invest in early-stage tech startups, fostering entrepreneurship and diversifying the economy beyond oil. This VC boom, driven by government initiatives, supportive regulations, and increasing investor interest, is crucial for Saudi Arabia’s long-term economic and social progress.

Mohammed Alzubi

Mohammed Alzubi

About Me

Mohammed is the Managing Partner of Nama Ventures, a seed stage fund focused on fueling MENA tech innovation, particularly in KSA. Mohammed can be reached on twitter @mzu3bi

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