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 ( Published On Wednesday 7 December 2016, 8 Rabi I 1438, Time: 14:21)

ArRiyadh City Web Site -

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RiyadhForty years ago the population of Arriyadh was just 100,000. Now it is 6.5 million. 64 percent are Saudi citizens. The greatest number of the expatriates living and working in the city are from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Philippines. There are also workers from Arab countries that include Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon and Syria. European, North American, South Africans, Russian, Antipodeans and Chinese foreign personnels are engaged with vast range of new infrastructural projects.  Arriyadh has become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Arab world. Wide range of cuisines can be found in the city’s many eateries.  Riyadh has two national English language newspapers, the Saudi Gazette and Arab News. 

 

Saudi working hours reflect the movement in daytime temperatures. Most government offices open at 7:30 am and close at 2:30 pm Private businesses tend to work from 8:00 am until noon and then after a break reopen from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Retail banks are open from 9:30 am until 4:30 pm with the exception of an extended midday break. Shops and markets open until midnight or 11:00 pm. All shops must close during prayer times. The prayer timings shift throughout the year.

 

Arriyadh is very much a working capital, in which the business of government for a country of 29 million people is interlaced with the activities of commerce, industry, banking and finance, diplomacy and academia.

Because so much of the city is of recent construction, the ADA has been able to co-ordinate and plan its expansion, to ensure a modern highway system which includes two ring roads, the second of which, an eight-lane highway. A third ring road is at the planning stage. The city’s main artery is King Fahad Road, which runs roughly north to south alongside Olaya Street.  Nevertheless, Arriyadh is not immune from acute and growing traffic congestion throughout much of the day. Indeed there are times, particularly during rush hours, when traffic becomes gridlocked. Drivers stuck in their vehicles may not always appreciate it, but their misfortune is a testament to the rapid success of one of the world’s fastest-growing cities.

 

AbdullahRoadNew Public Transport System, consisting of a Metro of six inter-connecting lines, integrated with a Bus Rapid Transit network, which will use dedicated highway lanes, will revolutionize the way in which the people of Arriyadh and the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come each year, will travel around the capital.  By 2020, when the Public Transport System will have been fully bedded in and citizens become used to its immense advantages, the capital’s roads are going to be markedly less congested. The minority, who still feel the need to travel by car, will be experiencing faster journeys, generally free of the frustrations of traffic jams.

As it is, the ADA has invested for some years in traffic management systems. Traffic light discipline has been much improved with extra displays that countdown the seconds until the lights will change to green. The ADA was also responsible for introducing the first “Saher” traffic cameras, which are causing speeding drivers and light jumpers to review their behavior. Now used throughout the Kingdom, the original ADA Saher system is beginning to have a significant impact on driving standards in Saudi Arabia, which unfortunately has one of the highest road fatality rates in the world.

King Khalid International Airport, equipped to handle 18 million passengers a year through three of its four terminals, last year almost 14 million people came through the airport in some 135,000 flight movements by 36 international and domestic airlines.

 

infrastructureRiyadh hosts Arab Satellite Communications Organisation (Arabsat) and offers powerful and cost-efficient telecommunications channels, provided by genuinely competitive players. Saudi Telecom Company (STC) is a major land-line supplier, while three mobile operators, leading provider Mobily, the joint Saudi-UAE Etihad Itisalat and the Saudi-Kuwaiti Zain company, offer complete 3G coverage throughout the capital and over much of Saudi Arabia. All three companies are now also rolling out super-fast 4G coverage.  There are also 56 internet service providers, 19 satellite communications companies, three airline telephony businesses and 44 vehicle tracking firms. Arriyadh’s telecommunications are supported by an advanced mix of fibre optic and high-speed copper wire connections, complemented by microwave and satellite links.

Arriyadh’s postal services are not quite up to the standard.  Home deliveries for regular standard mail are still the exception.  However the government-owned Saudi Post Corporation competes with international courier companies, such as DHL, ARAMEX, FedEx and UPS to provide efficient and timely domestic and international services.

Power consumption in Arriyadh is currently met by the local generation capacity of 11, 405 megawatts from 10 generating sets, operated by the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) which is 81% government owned. 

 

40 percent of Arriyadh’s water requirements are met from local artesian wells, while the remainder is pumped to the capital from desalination plants on the Gulf coast at Jubail. Despite the extra expense, water remains relatively cheap, though charges are now being raised incrementally, to encourage better conservation of this precious asset. Water is piped to 96 percent of the capital’s population and the system continues to expand, as new outlying areas of the city are developed, for both domestic and business use.

 

 




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