Saudi prince powers ahead with futuristic city and sports giga-projects

Saudi Arabia is forging ahead with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s flagship giga-projects, awarding billions of dollars of contracts despite Riyadh being forced to impose swingeing austerity measures as it grapples with the twin shocks of coronavirus and low oil prices. With Riyadh facing its worst financial crisis in decades, it has already taken the dramatic step of tripling value added tax to 15 per cent, suspending benefits of the civil service, which employs most Saudis, and warning that it will have to reprioritise spending.

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