Saudi Crown Prince Approves Darin and Tarout Development Corporation with $704 Million Budget

RIYADH — Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman approved the establishment of the Darin and Tarout Islands Development Corporation, with an estimated budget of SR 2.644 million.

The Crown Prince, who is also president of the Council for 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 the objectives of the Saudi Arabia. Vision 2030 on realizing a prosperous economy, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Crown Prince approved the allocation of the budget, which amounts to SR 2,644 million, with the aim of improving the quality of life and developing GDP, taking advantage of the island’s comparative advantages in heritage, environmental and tourism aspects in a way that contributes to economic diversity.

The development plan for 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 to shape the future of the Darin Islands and Tarout. The pillars are cited as preserving the cultural and historical heritage of the island; the reactivation of natural and environmental sites; and improve the quality of life and boost its tourist economy.

More than 19 qualitative initiatives have been developed to achieve the objectives of the island’s development plan. On the cultural side, Darin Castle and Airport will be developed as heritage tourist destinations and will host various cultural and heritage festivals on the island, as well as establishing multiple pedestrian paths passing through the heritage areas of the island.

In 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 development accreditation approach is expected to produce a significant economic and social impact in the region by contributing to GDP with an annual average of up to SR 297 million, increasing the number of tourists to 1.36 million by 2030 and providing thousands of career opportunities, in addition to allocating up to 48 percent of the island’s area to parks, shorelines, roads, and facilities.

This development approach is part of the enthusiasm of the 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 ordered the stakeholders to address all the development obstacles in Darin and Tarout islands, mainly in environmental and construction aspects, provide job opportunities to the residents of the area and increase their contribution to the GDP for the welfare of the citizens through economic development. and tourism activities on the island and benefit from comparative advantages and investment on the island.

The island enjoys historical significance, dating back more than 5,000 years, and boasting more than 11 heritage sites. The Port of Darin 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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