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How King Abdullah Economic City will Diversify Saudi Arabia’s Economy beyond Oil

|Sep 29|magazine6 min read

King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) is the most important single project in Saudi Arabia’s bid to diversify its economy beyond traditional oil and energy sectors.

Since the first phase was completed in 2010, the city has been delivering 100 percent year-on-year profit growth and to date has seen more than 17 billion riyals invested.

The latest economic input to be announced comes from the key development consortium Emaar Economic City, which has secured a two billion riyal Islamic murabaha loan from Saudi British Bank (SABB), an affiliate of HSBC Holdings.

The consortium, headed by Dubai's Emaar Properties and Saudi investors, will use this loan to build residential and infrastructure projects at King Abdullah Economic City, a special site of economic activity on the Red Sea coast not far from Jeddah.

By the time the project is completed in 2020, the year of the World Expo being held in the Middle East, the zone could house two million people and be the size of Washington DC in America.

A crucial development in diversifying the KSA economy, KAEC can handle the world's largest ships, and with new road and rail networks, it is just an hour from Jeddah, Mecca, and Medina. This will provide vital supply chain links for many industries looking to enter the country.

With lower taxes, fast-track employment and cheap energy, world leaders like Pfizer, Mars and Danone have all set up shop, granting an important base for the chemicals and food industries in Saudi Arabia.

The site will also become a vital tourist hub, with many fine restaurants and hotels among the residential properties.

In response to the growing demand for real estate and residential lands, the sales launches of 147 luxury villas in Al Murooj Golf Community 2 have gone ahead too. The development will be offering six types of villas with a choice of three, four or five bedrooms that will have unmatched views of our new 18-hole championship golf course “Royal Greens”.

Mr. Fahd Al-Rasheed, Managing Director and CEO of KAEC, said: “We are enjoying a boom in the development of real estate projects at King Abdullah Economic City fuelled by increasing demand for prime residential properties and land plots for building.”

“The prestigious Golf Community 2 has been developed to provide a high quality environment designed to meet the needs of those who aspire to a luxury lifestyle supported by technologically advanced infrastructure and world class amenities.”

With big business already in town and the infrastructure needed to attract more industries and those looking for world-class real estate, KAEC is set to move Saudi Arabia away from being a truly oil-dominated economy.

(below: plan of the city)