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Saudi Arabia plans road project in Aseer region to elevate infrastructure   

RIYADH: In a move to transform Saudi Arabia’s mountainous Aseer region into a global tourist destination, the local authority is planning to launch a new road project that will elevate the infrastructure in and around the region’s capital city Greater Abha.

The Kingdom is improving its road connectivity as part of its strategy to become a tourism and logistics hub, in line with the goals outlined in Vision 2030. 

The new project, being planned by the Aseer Development Authority in association with Saudi Arabia’s Public Transport Authority, is expected to connect Greater Abha with Abha, Khamis Mushait and Ahad Rafidah. 

The announcement regarding the new road project was made during a meeting chaired by the Chairman of the ASDA, Prince Turki bin Talal, at the headquarters of the authority. 

The 321km project, which is expected to launch in 2024, will have 13 routes, 196 stops, 55 buses, 150 bus drivers and 18 operational hours. 

A working group has already been formed comprising members from the ASDA, the Public Transport Authority, and the municipality of the region. 

The working group is expected to carry out a feasibility study by visiting the routes of the road and ensuring that the characteristics of the network are compatible with the roads in Greater Abha city. 

Aseer region’s municipality will implement the infrastructure of the project, and the operations will be carried out in accordance with the regulations and supervision of the Transport Authority and ASDA. 

As Saudi Arabia tries to emerge as a global tourism hub, the Aseer region is also expected to play a crucial role in these efforts. The historic region which runs parallel to the Red Sea aims to become a world-class tourist destination in the Kingdom and abroad by striking a balance between development and conservation. 

In 2021, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a $13 billion tourism strategy for Aseer that aims to attract more than 10 million visitors from inside and outside the Kingdom by 2030. 

With the new road project, the authorities expect the connectivity in the region to improve substantially, thus allowing more tourists to enjoy the temperate climate in the region. This will also help visitors explore various tourist destinations such as Asir National Park and Abha Dam. 

Meanwhile, on Jan.19, Fahd Al-Rasheed, CEO of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City announced that the operation of the King Abdulaziz Public Transport Project in Riyadh would begin in March 2023. 

This ambitious project in Saudi Arabia’s capital city includes six metro lines, 84 metro stations, 80 bus routes, 2,860 bus stops and 842 buses. 

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