The construction of a metro system for the capital Riyadh will cost a total of $22 billion and will begin early next year. The government expects trains to be running along its six lines by 2019.
The president of the Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) Ibrahim bin Mohammed al Sultan said the Riyadh Public Transport Project will be "a major driver of employment and economic development". He called it a "cornerstone" that would "enhance the quality of life" for Riyadh's population of nearly six million.
With more than 180 kilometres of track, the Riyadh metro will dwarf that which can be found in neighbouring Dubai. According to experts, the Saudi government has long considered Riyadh as being the potential capital of a unified Gulf region that would incorporate the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).