Saudi Arabia has witnessed solid activity in the infrastructure sector in 2022 with 56 roads covering a total distance of 1,610 km, being built, reported SPA.

The scope of work included evaliation of 608 bridges and 37 tunnels to ensure its working conditions.

Announcing this, the Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services, said it has till date built 73,000 km of roads, including 3,690 bridges and 76 tunnels.

For the kingdom, the transport and logistics sector is the main engine of development, and hence many effective plans had to be adopted to support the sector, to shorten distances and connect regions, as well as cater to the needs of tourists and pilgrims to Makkah and Madinah.

The transport sector offers land, sea, air, rail, roads, and logistics services. These services are integrated and interrelated in order to help this and various other sectors in the country, leading to a renaissance in all fields and achieving the objectives of the national strategy for transport and logistics.

KSA's strategic location at the confluence of three continents, Asia, Africa, and Europe, confers great influence to it and makes it a global logistics hub. This strategic location contributed to the kingdom's becoming a leading country in the transport and logistics sector, said Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services.

Towards achieving the goals of Saudi Vision 2030, the cabinet has approved the establishment of the Transport General Authority (TGA), and of the Center for Transportation Safety.

In the land transport sector, the regulatory framework for regulations and policies governing electric vehicles and self-driving vehicles was set in 2022, and the “Tajeer” portal was launched to automate car rental operations in the kingdom, reported SPA.

At the same time, five projects concerning public transportation by buses, within cities, were launched, in addition to a project to develop passenger transportation services by buses that connect more than 200 cities and governorates, it stated.

On the maritime transport sector, the ministry said the kingdom owns 13 ports on Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf, and as a result of the leadership’s support, it obtained the Maritime Quality Certificate for the 21st century from the US Coast Guard.

Also, six agreements were signed with marine classification agencies, and exceptional agreements with local, regional and global companies were signed to establish six integrated logistical areas, and 17 new navigation services linking the kingdom’s ports with ports to the east and to the west, and enhancing commercial traffic were added.

"At the same time, Gate 9 of the Jeddah Islamic Port was expanded after the rehabilitation of the western road, and the foundation stone of the largest integrated logistics area in the Middle East was laid in the Jeddah Islamic Port," said a spokesman for Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services.

Nearly SR1.3 billion ($346 million) has been invested in the project that will offer business opportunities in logistical areas to the private sector, including in re-exports sector by 2030.

In air transport, Saudi Arabia was elected a member of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization, until 2025, at ICAO's 41st general assembly in Montreal, Canada. Saudi Arabia won a seat on ICAO Council through the exceptional vote of 156 member states.

It hosted the Future of Aviation Conference 2022, launched the King Salman International Airport masterplan, two terminals (3&4) at King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh, expanded Al Qaisumah Airport, making it an international airport, completed the institutional transformation of 25 airports, and operated daily flights around the clock to transport passengers to Qatar to attend the 2022 World Cup, which all made the kingdom’s airports receive 88 million passengers in 2022.

On the logistics scenario, the ministry said the total freight transported through the kingdom’s airports in 2022 exceeded 623,000 tonnes.

Additionally, three international routes (Cairo-Jeddah, Dubai-Riyadh, Dubai-Jeddah) were among the 10 busiest in the world in terms of the number of flights in 2022 up to October 2022, according to a global ranking institution, while the most active internal route was Riyadh-Jeddah.

Also in 2022, more than 5.8 million passengers were transported via railway networks, up 115% over the previous year.

More than 1.3 million pilgrims were transported via metro during the Hajj season, it added.

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