To help achieve this ambition, the Sports Boulevard Foundation – one of Riyadh’s mega projects – was launched by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz in March 2019, and supported by HRH Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz.
The Sports Boulevard is an innovative and sustainable urban regeneration plan which will transform the lives of the people of Riyadh. For the first time, residents and visitors alike will have world-leading sporting, cultural and entertainment facilities, on their doorstep. Everyone will have the opportunity to participate in sports, including walking, cycling and horse-riding, or come together with friends and family to enjoy Riyadh’s rich cultural lifestyle, which will improve their health, wellbeing and quality of life. And, new skills, sectors, and job opportunities will be introduced in exciting new industries for the people of Saudi Arabia.
The Sports Boulevard will be recognised as the world’s largest urban linear park: it will extend more than 135km and encompass Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Road and connect Wadi Hanifah in the west with Wadi Al Sulai in the east through a grid of safe, green pathways for pedestrians, cyclists, athletes, and horse-riders. It will include 4.4 million square meters of greenery and open spaces and facilities for more than 50 multidisciplinary sports.
Developing state-of-the-art infrastructure
In total, the Sports Boulevard will offer residents and visitors access to 220km of cycling tracks (135km of professional track and an 85km amateur track), 134km of horse-riding trails and more than 135km of pedestrian walkways. The development will span eight distinct districts and deliver iconic destinations and architectural highlights for Riyadh – including the Arts and Entertainment District, which will further enrich Riyadh’s distinct culture by providing a state-of-the-art amphitheatre, and other spaces for performances.
There will also be a range of outdoor spaces that can be used year-round, for people to enjoy and socialise.
The first publicly accessible elements of the development – The Cycling Bridge and Promenade – will be completed early next year. Progress is also being made in the development of the Wadi Hanifah District, King Abdulaziz Road Underpass, Prince Turki Alawwal Underpass, Promenade, Wadi Al Yasen and the Sands Sports Park. Every element of the planning and execution process of the Sports Boulevard has been conducted in line with the Sport Boulevard’s ‘Design Code’ (announced in 2022), which is driven by the principles of Salmani Architecture, and will help to ensure that Riyadh is designed to the highest standard and becomes known as one of the greatest cities in the world.
Delivering Vision 2030
Underpinning the development of the Sports Boulevard is an unwavering commitment to sustainability, which informs how buildings are designed, the materials that are sourced and used, as well as the way the destination will operate in the future – this includes reusing as much of the onsite construction waste as possible and utilizing green concrete that takes up 35 per cent less carbon in the manufacturing process than regular concrete. The project will also increase the per capita share of green space for Riyadh’s residents by 62 per cent and reduce carbon dioxide levels across Riyadh by 100 tonnes, creating cleaner air for Riyadh residents.
The Sports Boulevard is for the people of Riyadh, the Kingdom, and its visitors. By connecting the city from east to west, and its people to places and opportunities, it will become central to everyday lives, through pedestrian and cycle paths, public artwork, green spaces, a variety of sports facilities, places to socialise with family, friends, colleagues, and more. As Saudi Arabia cements its reputation as a key destination for tourism and international sporting competitions, the advancements of the Sports Boulevard will have significant societal and economic benefit through the creation of jobs, businesses, and heightened economic activity – boosting tourism and Riyadh’s global stature as one of the world’s most liveable cities.
For more information on the project, visit the Sports Boulevard: https://sportsboulevard.sa/en/.