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MARCH 2024 – King Salman Park

An Icon Like no Other

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King Salman Park was launched on 19 March 2019 and will be one of the world’s largest public parks and urban districts when it opens its doors in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Here, RLI spends some time with George Tanasijevich, CEO of King Salman Park Foundation to discuss the different elements of this groundbreaking scheme.

King Salman Park, one of Vision 2030’s most ambitious initiatives, is on track to become the residential, commercial and tourism hub of Riyadh. Located just 25 minutes from the King Khalid International airport and linked to five new metro stations, the development will span nearly 17 square kilometres and include 11 square kilometres of lush green space, thousands of residential units, substantial office space, numerous cultural attractions, a convention centre, several entertainment facilities and much more.

The King Salman Park Foundation (KSPF) is the company responsible for the construction and operation of the King Salman Park (KSP) project and is chaired by His Royal Highness, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia. KSPF will work alongside developers and investors to facilitate and support their investment journey on one of Saudi Arabia’s most important environmental projects.

KSP is set to play a pivotal role in the Kingdom’s sustainability strategy, a dramatic example of infrastructure transformation from a heat vortex to a cooling biosphere, setting new standards in urban biodiversity, cooling and climate adaptation. With 800 plant species and doubling the city’s greenery per capita, it will create a transformative impact on Riyadh’s natural infrastructure. On course to be an unparalleled green experience and link to the natural world, KSP is a catalyst for green and active living, wellbeing and health.
“King Salman Park offers one of the first substantial opportunities in Riyadh for foreign investment into urban mixed-use development projects, situated within a stunning urban park,” explains George Tanasijevich, CEO of King Salman Park Foundation. “This has come about as part of the transformation taking place in the Kingdom, which has been based on economic growth and social development in the country.”

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A transformative urban regeneration project, KSP is one of the world’s most ambitious developments, where people can live, visit, work, learn and play. At its core, the park will feature a green oasis that is surrounded by spectacular residences, conveniently located office buildings, a rich variety of cultural, arts and entertainment venues, sports and recreational facilities, restaurants and retail outlets alongside other attractions and amenities.

The upcoming destination is adopting a modern design approach that is unique to the region and is fluid, flexible and lively. The iconic features of the park will blend with the natural topography and celebrate the lush green landscapes and the tree-covered valleys (over one million trees are set to be planted), offering immersive experiences at every turn.

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A gift to the city of Riyadh, KSP is symbolic of Saudi’s national transformation and boldly captures the aspirations of its people. The development is a key element of Riyadh’s ambition to become one of the world’s top 10 most liveable cities by 2030.

“Offering an unprecedented pedestrian-friendly community and incomparable access to nature and beauty spots with breath-taking views of the park and the city, King Salman Park will ensure that residents have all their basic needs met within a convenient 15-minute radius,” highlights Tanasijevich.

The scheme will offer a range of unique mixed-use districts to those who live and work in and around the park as well as international visitors and the residents of Riyadh.

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For people living in and around the park, the development will feature premium residential communities that display high-end construction, balconies, private gardens and fully tailored amenities, offering housing for all without relinquishing on quality and premium appearances. The offerings range from one- to three-bed branded residences, multi-family homes and standard living apartments to three- and four-bed penthouses.

In terms of hospitality, there will be a five-star luxury hotel situated in the loop that will feature standard to luxury rooms and suites. Alongside this there will be a five-star landmark hotel with branded residences that will also be located on the loop and blend upscale hospitality with luxury living, including rooms and suites. Finally, there will be a five-star business hotel which will be positioned near the business district and public transport and feature standard to superior rooms and suites along with business centres, meeting facilities and leisure facilities.

“As for the retail and F&B options, the park will feature trendy retail options that maximise open and green spaces within fully activated districts and pathways, providing visitors lively offerings of retail and dining, forming blended mixed-use communities and attracting visitor footfall to the areas neighbouring the park,” Tanasijevich says.

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Another major element of KSP is the office district, which will be blended within residential plots, targeting global and regional companies with the aim to form a vibrant ecosystem of talent in strategic locations. With KSP will be Grade-A offices, Grade-B offices and Flex Business Office Space/Innovation Hub which will be situated near business districts and transport, designed for start-ups. These spaces will combine private offices and open desks with facilities such as shared meeting room and lounges, operated by co-working providers.

Finally, additional assets that will support the infrastructure of the park will be educational facilities and healthcare facilities.

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“At the heart of the Smart City vision for KSP, are the core pillars of health and wellbeing and the visitor experience. Our Smart City strategy will utilise both proven and innovative Smart City technologies and concepts to support and enhance the way that our visitors will interact with and experience the park,” comments Tanasijevich. “KSP will be a city within a city and so our list of Smart City use cases is long and varied; offering endless opportunities to enhance the lives of our visitors, as well as our park residents, workers and students.”

“Our goal is for King Salman Park to become a living lab for innovation wherein we can partner with the public sector, private sector, start-ups, universities, schools and the wider Riyadh community,” Tanasijevich concludes.