The Massive Project to Revamp the Jeddah Waterfront
By: MacKenzie DiLeo/Arab America Contributing Writer
Beginning in July 2020, the Jeddah governorate is spearheading a project to revamp the waterfront in the city. The project is expected to take approximately 30 months to complete, and it will cost roughly $61 million, which is the equivalent of about 229 million riyals. The project is a component of the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan as well as the Cities Humanization Initiative, which is intended to improve the overall quality of life for Saudi citizens and increase the amount of green spaces and park venues. Roads in the area will be repaved, pedestrian and cycling corridors are getting built, plenty of new trees will be planted, and there will be many new playgrounds and fountains. The plan even includes man-made beaches for swimming.
The Saudi Vision 2030 Reform Project
Crown prince and chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, Mohammad bin Salman, has launched the Saudi Vision 2030 plan with the intention of setting an achievable blueprint for an ambitious Saudi Arabia. The plan expresses long-term goals for the nation based upon its strengths and capabilities. In an effort to get the kingdom to realize its true aspirations, the plan is built upon three pillars: having a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation. With a total of 96 objectives, the Council of Economic and Development Affairs created 13 Vision Realization programs. Some of these programs include the Housing Program, the National Transportation Program, the Privatization Program, the Strategic Partnership Program, and the Quality of Life Program, which the waterfront revamping project falls under.
The Quality of Life Program in particular sets out to improve Saudi individuals’ lifestyles by developing an ecosystem that supports and creates new options to boost citizens’ participation in cultural, environment and sports activities. Similarly, the program will also enhance quality of life by creating jobs and raising the global ranking of the cities in Saudi Arabia. The waterfront revamping project in Jeddah aligns well with the objectives of this program. The project will help to boost citizens’ involvement in cultural and athletic affairs that are happening at the waterfront as well as allowing Saudi citizens to immerse themselves in the city and its cultural environment. Additionally, the project will help create jobs for many Saudi citizens to support themselves and their families, and the project will likely draw many tourists to Jeddah for its wonderful new attraction.
The Waterfront at Jeddah
The existing waterfront at Jeddah, otherwise known as the Jeddah Corniche, has previously always been an attractive site to visit in the city. The waterfront itself already underwent a revamp project in 2017, which added swimming bays and parklands to add a more cosmopolitan appeal. The site is suitable for both children and adults alike, where children can utilize the playgrounds and open spaces and adults can register for watersport activities on the beach, rent bicycles or take walks on the pier to enjoy the beautiful view of the water. In 2017, the waterfront also acquired many eateries including upscale restaurants, coffee shops and popular fast-food chains.
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