Saudi Arabia plans to pour $133bn to become global transportation & logistics hub

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Desk Reporter
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Saudi Arabia is planning to invest $133 billion (500 billion riyals) in transportation and logistics over the next nine years in order to transform the country into a global transportation and logistics center.

The Arab world’s largest economy expects to implement more than 300 transportation and logistics projects through cooperation with the local and international business sectors.

Saudi government officials stated that they plan to build a new flagship airline, expand airports, extend the railway network, boost port capacity, and invest in cutting-edge public transportation systems.

According to Mr. Abdulaziz Al Duailej, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), the kingdom aims to more than triple the number of yearly passengers passing through its airports in the next nine years. It will increase airports’ capacity to 330 million passengers a year by 2030, up from 103 million in 2019, Mr. Al Duailej said.

Recently, Saudi Arabia has launched a national strategy for transport and logistics aimed at increasing the sector’s contribution to annual non-oil revenues. The move is part of the kingdom’s overall strategy to diversify its economy, develop non-oil sectors, create jobs, attract foreign investment, and attract high-skilled talent.

Mr. Al Duailej remarked that the private sector will play an increasingly important role in the aviation sector, particularly in the construction, operation, and management of airports in the kingdom. He further added that the GACA will continue to push for the privatization of airport companies in order to make the assets commercially viable while focusing on its function as an aviation regulator.

“The new strategy will help Saudi Arabia to meet its targets of hosting 100 million tourists and 30 million Hajj and Umrah pilgrims,” noted Mr. Mansour Al Turki, Saudi’s deputy minister of planning and information. The strategy calls for expanding the country’s air links to 250 destinations, from 99 routes currently, and doubling its air cargo capacity to more than 4.5 million tones.

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