Saudi Arabia announces more new projects in royal investment spree

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman announced $3 billion in investment projects on Tuesday, the latest in a royal spending spree as the ruling family seeks to shore up support during a crisis over the murder of a journalist last month.

King Salman inaugurated 151 projects in the northern province of Tabuk valued at more than 11 billion riyals ($2.9 billion), the Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

The king, 82, has been meeting citizens and launching development projects over several weeks on a domestic tour that has already included stops in Qassim and Hail provinces, north of the capital Riyadh.

He and his powerful son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have faced an international outcry since a leading critic of the prince, commentator Jamal Khashoggi, was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Of the Tabuk funding, 4.9 billion riyals will go toward three electricity management projects in the province, where the futuristic city of NEOM is due to be built, SPA reported.

Among other recipients are the tourism authority and the ministries of transport, housing, education, environment and municipal affairs.

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