RIYADH — Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman has approved establishing the Darin and Tarout Island Development Corporation, with an estimated budget of SR 2.644 billion.
The Crown Prince, who is also chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, made the announcement after accrediting a development approach for the island and its future initiatives in line with the decision of the Council of Ministers and as part of goals of the Saudi Vision 2030 in realizing a prosperous economy, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The Crown Prince approved the allocation of the budget, amounting to SR 2.644 billion, with the aim of improving the quality of life and developing the GDP, by taking advantage of the island’s comparative advantages in the heritage, environment and tourist aspects in a way that contributes to economic diversity.
The development plan of the 32-square-kilometer island in the Arabian Gulf, which is home to 120,000 people, includes identifying the island’s comparative and competitive advantages according to three main pillars for shaping the future of Darin and Tarout Island. The pillars are cited as preserving the cultural and historical heritage of the island; the revival of natural and environmental sites; and improving quality of life and enhancing its tourism economy.
More than 19 qualitative initiatives have been developed to achieve the goals of the island’s development plan. On the cultural side, Darin castle and airport will be developed as heritage tourist destinations, and hold several cultural and heritage festivals on the island, apart from establishing multiple pedestrian trails that pass through the island’s heritage areas.
On the environmental aspect, the largest mangrove forest will be created on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, in addition to building several environmental hotels and motels in natural areas, as well as improving the quality of life on the island through the construction of roads, infrastructure and public parks, including many stadiums and modern sports facilities.
The accreditation of development approach is expected to yield a significant economic and social impact in the region by contributing to GDP with an average of up to SR297 million at an annual basis, increasing the number of tourists to 1.36 million by 2030, and providing thousands of career opportunities, as well as allocating up to 48 percent of the island’s area to parks, waterfronts, roads and facilities.
This development approach is part of keenness of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and the Crown Prince for the development process to include all cities and governorates based on the comparative advantages of each region.
The Crown Prince has directed the stakeholders to address all development obstacles on the Darin and Tarout Island, mainly in environment and construction aspects, provide job opportunities for residents of the area, and increasing its contribution to the GDP for the welfare of citizens through developing economic and tourist activities on the island and benefiting from comparative advantages and investment on the island.
The island enjoys historical significance, where it dates back more than 5,000 years, and has more than 11 heritage sites. The Darin Port is one of the oldest ports in the region and was previously known as a seaport and active market, where it was a warehouse for goods such as musk, perfume, textiles and spices.
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