Royal Commission for Riyadh City (Saudi Arabia)

Riyadh air quality forecasting and management system

Riyadh is the capital and main business centre of Saudi Arabia. It suffers from concerning levels of pollution. Industrial emissions, along with traffic emissions and the airborne dust characteristic of desert areas, are some of the most significant sources of pollution. The capital did not have an air quality forecasting system to anticipate potential critical emissions.


  • Develop a complete air quality forecasting system for the Riyadh metropolitan region.
  • Analyse and quantify the impact of the multiple sources of pollution on air quality.
  • Identify critical emission sources.
  • Improve the polluting emissions inventory in the Riyadh metropolitan region.
  • Implement an air quality management system with predictive capabilities.
  • Design management tools to apply effective air quality policies.


  • Development of a complete emissions model for the Riyadh metropolitan area.
  • Application of a hybrid modelling system (WRF-Chem and CMAQ).
  • Application of an urban high resolution system (CALPUFF).
  • Reduction of airborne particles.
  • Preparation of an air quality forecasting system.
  • Development of management tools to apply effective air quality policies.


The project has enabled the Riyadh metropolitan area to have the most advanced air quality forecasting system in the Persian Gulf Region. Currently the system allows environmental hazard situations to be predicted and serious air quality episodes to be analysed. Both predictive and historical diagnostic capabilities allow the implementation of preventive or corrective environmental management actions.


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