"Belt and Road" construction projects bring benefits to Saudis

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-09 17:42:16|Editor: xuxin
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RIYADH, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabia, a hub connecting Asia, Africa and Europe, is one of the first countries that have responded positively to China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Hoping to diversify its heavily oil-dependent economy, the Middle East nation is open and cooperative to explore business opportunities and reap win-win fruits.

Currently, there are more than 100 major Chinese companies in Saudi Arabia involved in various projects related to roads, maritime ports, bridges, accommodations, railway, power stations, communications and other national projects.

Those companies bring huge benefits to Saudi Arabia and help expand its cooperation with China under the Belt and Road Initiative.


In Jeddah, the largest city in the west of the Kingdom, there is a 37 km long Flood Water Channel that crosses the city in three phases, in which the rain and flood water that fall from the high areas gather around the city in a cheerful scene with the bird flocking on both sides. Meters away, there is a busy highway.

Ma Chifeng, Director of Jeddah City Project for Flood Drainage run by Chinese Communication Construction Group (CCCG), told Xinhua that "The rain water that falls from the nearby mountains of Mecca and the high areas in Jeddah go through this flood drainage channel and then to the Red Sea."

"It might be an ordinary channel in another area, but it isn't the same in Saudi Arabia and it has special importance and came after painful lessons," Ma added.

In November 2009, Jeddah, the second largest city in Saudi Arabia, witnessed a wave of unprecedented rainstorms that killed more than 120 people. And in 2011, 10 people were killed by the storm.

Due to the lacks of comprehensive rain and flood drainage system, whenever heavy rain fall, floods come down from the nearby mountain areas to cross the natural waterways toward Jeddah.

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ordered the Jeddah government to act fast for an appropriate flood water control system that is capable of tackling heavy floods.

In July 2013, CCCG won the tender to build the 500 million U.S. dollar project. After nine months, the project was completed.

In November 2014, the city witnessed two rainstorms with no tragic accidents happened.

As acknowledgement of the success, the Jeddah Municipality sent an appreciation letter to the Chinese company for its work.


In Mecca, the holiest city to Muslims, located 80 km east of Jeddah, there is the Green Dragon metro, another landmark that goes between high mountains and hills to transport pilgrims.

For the comfort of around three million pilgrims coming from around 100 countries every year, Saudi Arabia has ordered the construction of a metro linking five areas in order to ease congestion and limit stampede during Hajj rituals in the holy city.

In January 2009, the Chinese Railways Construction Corporation (CRCC) signed an agreement with the Saudi Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs to build a light railway in Mecca.

The light railway started its operation in 2010. Although it is only 18.25 km long, it is the most complicated line in the world and has the largest capacity to transport passengers within certain period.

The project attracted attention from both Saudi and Chinese governments, especially after Saudi Arabia announced in 2010 that the light railway will be used for the first time to transfer pilgrims in the history of Hajj for 1,300 years.

With Muslims from all over the world taking the new Chinese trains between five stations in Mecca, the Chinese company was overwhelmed with the praise by the media and Saudis.

The appreciation reached high to an extend that locals were thumping up to the Chinese drivers when seeing the vehicles with the logo of CRCC on Mecca's roads.

By 2014, the CRCC successfully completed running the trains for five consecutive years without any safety-related accidents. At the same time, it has provided job opportunities for locals and training courses on managing the train trips.


With the discovery of large areas of oil fields in the huge desert, Saudi Arabia depends major on oil revenues to invest in education, science and technology.

Since its entry in the Saudi market in 1999, Chinese Huawei Technology Company has cooperated with three Saudi major communication companies, offering the best and latest services for individuals in the kingdom.

Through the contributions of Huawei, the number of mobile phone users in the kingdom increased from 36 million in 2008 to 51 million in 2014, and the world ranking of Saudi Arabia in IT indicators jumped from 27 to 24.

Huawei has implemented 90 percent of Saudi government projects in the remote areas and satisfied the basic needs of 3.5 million Saudis for communication services. It also offered the latest technologies and products, such as TDD and LTE networks, the basic GIP 400 networks and the Client Experience Management system.

Throughout the last ten years, Huawei has provided wireless communication services to 3 million pilgrims each year in the 180 km Hajj areas. With more than 1,000 employees in Saudi Arabia, it has offices in Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah. Saudi Arabia has becomes one of the most important foreign markets for Huawei.