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King Abdullah Economic City, a $27 billion development on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast, will open its port next year, a port official said. The port will have a capacity of 1.5 million containers a year, Hamdi Nadhrah, head of business development at the Red Sea Gateway Terminal in Jeddah, told a Middle East Economic Digest conference in Abu Dhabi.
The Works have been on-going to establish economic cities, including King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh City, Prince Abdulaziz bin Musaed Economic City in Hail, Jazan Economic City, The Knowledge Economic City in Madinah as well as King Abdullah Business District in Riyadh, Declaration of Airport in Madinah as an international airport, the expansion of King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah, the establishment of Economic City Airport in Rabigh, increase in number of universities in the Kingdom from eight universities to about twenty-five, the opening of several colleges and technical and health institutes and colleges for girls.
The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) will provide 600MW to the Haramain Railway linking the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina with Jeddah. Transport Minister and Chairman of the Saudi Railway Organisation (SRO) Jabara Al-Seraisry said the SEC will power the 450 kilometre high-speed railway as well as its stations at King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh and Madinah.
Turreted rose-coloured walls and towers mark the entrance to King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), 70km north of Jeddah on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia. The traditional desert motif blends with what developers are calling the future of cities in the oil-rich kingdom. Through the gate, banners flap in the wind, depicting the ultra-modern, eco-friendly model city of the future. The $27bn project will be as large as Washington DC and comprise an industrial zone, financial centre, luxury villas, retail outlets, schools, resorts and a seaport.
Three groups led by Saudi Binladin Group, Freyssinet Saudi Arabia and Saudi Oger bid for construction of four passenger stations on the rail line linking Mecca and Medina, Asharq al-Awsat reported, citing Saudi Railways Organization President Abdulaziz al-Hokail. The stations along the Haramain High-Speed Rail will be built in Mecca, Medina, Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh, the newspaper added.
Visions in the GCC tend to come in a supersized format. Mega projects such as the King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia testify to the ambition of governments to haul their countries into the modern age by creating vast expanses of infrastructure for industry to develop. Not to be outdone, Abu Dhabi is similarly seeking to diversify itself away from fossil fuels, using the massive wealth generated from oil revenues to work on its Abu Dhabi 2030 strategy. To facilitate this vision, the Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) has been tasked with building the Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone in Taweelah.
Dubai International is already poised for an aggressive expansion, as Griffiths said: “In the long term, we expect to crack the 100-million passenger mark before the end of the next decade so investment in the infrastructure to support this growth will continue. This includes plans for building Concourse 3 the world’s first dedicated A380 facility and Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International.”