(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia is set to become the world’s largest construction market as the kingdom pours vast amounts of money into projects aimed at overhauling and diversifying the economy, according to real estate consultancy group Knight Frank.

The country’s total construction output value is forecast to reach $181.5 billion by the end of 2028, up almost 30% from 2023 levels, the London-based firm said in a research report published Monday.

Much of that is likely to come from residential property and so-called giga projects, alongside other developments that form part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s mission to transform the oil-dependent economy. The plan, known as Vision 2030, will need to cater for a growing population to succeed, as well as an expected influx of foreign tourists.

“We are currently witnessing a historical transformation unfolding in Saudi Arabia with construction projects standing out in their design scale and value,” said Mohamed Nabil, regional partner and head of project and development services for the Middle East and North Africa at Knight Frank.

Since the Vision 2030 initiative was introduced eight years ago, Saudi Arabia has launched projects with a value of more than $1.25 trillion, according to Knight Frank’s research.

While most are not yet delivered and some have been downsized, the kingdom is working on overdrive as the 2030 deadline edges ever closer.

In 2023 alone, more than $140 billion of construction contract awards were granted, according to Knight Frank. The majority of those were in Riyadh, where Saudi Arabia aims to grow its population to 10 million by 2030.

The capital city has become a major focal point as the kingdom prepares to host the World Expo in 2030 — and possibly the World Cup in 2034. 

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