Infrastructure and Transport

Infrastructure and Transport

Economic growth and rapid urbanization have led to the need to make considerable investments in the massive expansion of the Kingdom’s transportation networks, including rail, road, and air networks. The 2019 budget statement reported an allocation of SAR70.24 billion for infrastructure and transport, including SAR36.66 billion for Vision Realisation Programmes targeted at improving or developing the Kingdom’s roads, ports, railways, airports, housing, communications and information technology, postal services, the industrial cities of Jubail and Yanbu, Ras Al-Khair Industrial Mining, and Jazan City for primary and downstream industries.

The infrastructure and transport sector benefits from recent, substantial investments in megaprojects, such as the iconic Haramain High Speed Rail – a SAR56billion, 450km link between the cities of Mecca, Medina, Jeddah, and the King Abdullah Economic City – and the Riyadh Metro – a six-line project with a total length of 176km and 85 stations across Riyadh. The development of the Metro comes in line with plans to regenerate the central city area, focusing on transit-oriented development and other strategies to reduce car-dependency.

Recent years have seen the planning of major new airports and the expansion of existing airports, including the new King Abdulaziz International Airport (terminal 1) in Jeddah, which officially opened in September 2019, the expansion of the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, and new airports in AlJouf and AlQurayat under construction.

Our government advisory team has advised the Ministry of Transport and the Public Investment Fund on major transport projects. With Linklaters, we have advised on some of the major transport and infrastructure PPP projects in KSA, including advising:

  • The lenders on the Madinah Airport Expansion, the first full PPP project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and one of the largest infrastructure projects in the Middle East;
  • The lenders on the Qassim, Ha’il, Yanbu, and Taif Airport PPP Projects, the first full PPP project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and one of the largest infrastructure projects in the Middle East; and
  • The sponsor on the financing, design, construction, operation, and maintenance by the Red Sea Gateway Terminal Company Limited of the Tusdeer container terminal within the Jeddah Islamic Port in Saudi Arabia.