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Saudi King visits Emaar Economic City project

17 August 2006

RABEGH Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz AlSaud yesterday visited King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).

King Abdullah's visit to the world's largest private sector development near Jeddah follows the completion of Emaar Economic City's initial public offering to which more than half of the Saudi national population had subscribed. King Abdullah inspected the progress on the project, which is billed to usher in a new era of economic prosperity to the Kingdom.

An overview of the project was presented to King Abdullah, who had officially launched KAEC at the headquarters of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), the project's prime facilitator, in Riyadh on December 20, 2005. Work on KAEC started the very next day and has now progressed significantly.

Emaar the Economic City, a consortium led by global real estate major Emaar Properties and Saudi investors, is undertaking the project.

"The visit of His Majesty highlights the importance he places on the economic reforms that he has pioneered and confirms his constant support to projects, which strengthen the Saudi economy and align it with global economies," said Amr Al-Dabbagh, SAGIA Governor.

"Projects like KAEC are aimed at underpinning the new investment opportunities in the Kingdom and also offer tremendous employment opportunities in line with the requirements of modern economies."

"KAEC builds on the principal thrust areas of the Kingdom's new economic policy," said Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman, EEC.

"The project attracts foreign direct investment particularly in the light and heavy industry, finance and hospitality sectors; develops private sector further; promotes the development of local labour force and assures increased employment; and helps diversification of the economy through non-oil resource based developments. KAEC is therefore in line with the national objective of growing and diversifying the Kingdom's economy."

Nidal Jamjoom, Chief Executive Officer, EEC, said: "The six components of KAEC the world-class seaport, industrial district, education and healthcare zone, financial island, resorts and residential area will power the development of Saudi Arabia as a global economic powerhouse. When completed within 36 months, in phases, the project and its components have the potential to generate 500,000 new jobs for Saudi nationals."

KAEC has made rapid progress on site work with the structural steel work for the presentation centre already executed and installation of precast walls will be soon completed. Work is also underway on the project's first boulevard a 15km long stretch that features over 3,000 palm trees.

Excavation work for the first city canal to run through the Red Sea Village, a component of KAEC, has started. Geotechnical investigations are being conducted for dwelling units, and designs for one of the main entry gates, the first Corniche Park and marina have been completed. The single largest private sector initiative in the Kingdom, KAEC is a SR100 billion ($26.6 billion) project off the Red Sea Coast covering a greenfield site of 55 million square metre.

Courtesy: Khaleej Times



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