Can Makkah be transformed into a world-class metropolis?
Makkah Emir Prince Khaled al-Faisal stated that Makkah should be the most beautiful city in the world
Makkah Emir Prince Khaled al-Faisal, who is also advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, stated that Makkah should be the most beautiful city in the world. “Makkah, Makkah and Makkah is at the top of my priority list,” he said. Such strong statements and affirmative promises if translated into action will surely transform not only Makkah but the adjoining region into modern urban areas with world-class amenities.
The ambitious implementation of such mega-projects requires a master plan and clear goals. A commitment within a time frame is also a must. Prince Khaled has already set the ball rolling; however, he has no magic wand. As an experienced official, he has a vision and is well informed about the latest developments in the more advanced cities of the world. He is well aware of the level of municipal efficiency and other related services applied in other countries, but we cannot expect much without proper cooperation and efficient implementation by government institutions and contractors undertaking projects in the city.
The holy city of Makkah requires the support of every man and woman in order to transform it into a global city. There should be no room for negligence or incompetence. The task is itself daunting. It will not be easy to overhaul years of neglect, corruption and complacency. Prince Khaled took on the task in his first tenure as Makkah emir and he has now been given the opportunity to complete it. The public is eager to support him and hopefully his team will not disappoint him.
There is no substitute for hard work and time is of the essence. In the past, a lot of money went down the drain and much effort was in vain. We cannot allow ourselves to be embarrassed further by the abuse of power, mismanagement, poor services and substandard and mediocre projects.
Prince Khaled has outlined his vision and stated his goals clearly. Officials and the public should not ruin the momentum by indulging in lip-service commitments or producing false promises. Good governance and sound management must prevail. The emir needs capable partners who are innovative, creative and sincere. The people of Makkah region should rise to the occasion, exhibit civic sense and work hard to make the city of Makkah among the top cities of the world.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on February 15, 2015.
Khaled Almaeena is a veteran Saudi journalist, commentator, businessman and the editor-at-large of the Saudi Gazette. Almaeena has held a broad range of positions in Saudi media for over thirty years, including CEO of a PR firm, Saudi Television news anchor, talk show host, radio announcer, lecturer and journalist. As a journalist, Almaeena has represented Saudi media at Arab summits in Baghdad, Morocco and elsewhere. In 1990, he was one of four journalists to cover the historic resumption of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Russia. He also traveled to China as part of this diplomatic mission. Almaeena's political and social columns appear regularly in Gulf News, Asharq al-Aswat, al-Eqtisadiah, Arab News, Times of Oman, Asian Age and The China Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter: @KhaledAlmaeena
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