5-speed listening (Riyadh - Level 5)

Saudi capital city to get $23 billion makeover






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Saudi Arabia's government will invest $23 billion in a huge makeover for its capital city, Riyadh. This is part of a project to beautify the city, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, boost leisure and tourism, and create "one of the world's most livable cities". In addition, a further $15 billion in private sector funding will finance investment opportunities for businesses. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will oversee the ambitious project. It is part of his Vision 2030 initiative aimed at diversifying the kingdom's revenue sources and move away from relying on oil.

Other world capitals can only dream of receiving such vast amounts of money. Saudi aims to improve the quality of life for Riyadh's 5 million residents. A focus on leisure will make people happier. There will be over 130km of cycling track, a huge new park and hundreds of art installations. Riyadh will be a greener city. The amount of green space per person will increase 16-fold. Over 7.5 million trees will be planted and dozens of community gardens created. Work on the project will begin in the second half of the year. It will create 70,000 jobs and take around 10 years to complete.

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