Gigaproject seeks firms for Riyadh rail link

23 June 2023

Saudi gigaproject developer Qiddiya has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the technical advisory role for the express rail that will connect its entertainment city development with downtown Riyadh and King Salman International airport (KSIA).

The closing date for submitting proposals is 17 July.

Known as Q-Express, the first phase of the railway will link Qiddiya with King Abdullah Financial District, a development known as the North Pole – which is understood to include the Public Investment Fund’s proposed 2km-tall tower – and KSIA.

Later phases will connect to King Salman Park, Central Riyadh, an Industrial City and Al-Kharj.

UK-based consultancy Ernst & Young is already working on the project.

The planned project comes as Riyadh prepares to commence operating its metro system. Contracts to build the six lines were awarded in 2013, and last year a deal was struck with the three consortiums working on the project so that operations could start by the end of 2023.

According to sources working on the scheme, operations will start with a limited number of stations.

Qiddiya is one of Saudi Arabia’s five official gigaprojects and it covers a total area of 376 square kilometres, with 223 sq km of developed land. The concept of the city rests on three pillars: entertainment, sports and culture.

It will offer a range of attractions such as theme parks, sports arenas, academies for sports and the arts, and concert and entertainment venues. There will also be motorsport racetracks and a variety of outdoor adventure activities.

The development also includes a diverse selection of real estate options and community services.

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Colin Foreman
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