RIYADH — Many citizens have complained about the shabby state of King Fahd International Stadium located east of Riyadh city.
Speaking to Al-Watan daily, they said the stadium is in an area surrounded by junkyards and empty land.
“The stadium is an highly popular venue for sports enthusiasts and joggers, yet the authorities have not shown any interest in maintaining it. So many facilities are missing from the stadium and some expatriates have taken advantage of the official negligence of the area and have set up their own unlicensed businesses,” said a citizen.
He said the expatriates sold food and drinks without complying to health and safety regulations.
“The area is unhygienic and people have set up random praying areas with rundown ceilings that could be dangerous to people passing by or standing underneath it. Most of the visitors come at night and over the weekends. Expatriates have set up their own unlicensed entertainment activities like slides and swings that could be dangerous to children who use them because they do not follow the safety regulations in the absence of official monitoring,” said the Saudi.
“There are also broken glass and litter in the area. There are three random prayer areas set up by religious people who wanted to give visitors a place to pray. They are built with modest material that cannot endure the climatic conditions and are not safe,” he added.
The visitors are demanding proper mosques and prayer areas to be built close to the stadium.
“There is a need for a big mosque suitable for the large number of visitors to the area. The current state of affairs gives a negative image of the place. The area is not maintained well and no official authority is taking care of it,” said the citizen.