Saudi King Abdullah visits KAEC; evaluates progress achieved
Saudi King Abdullah bin AbdulAziz AlSaud visited King Abdullah Economic City, the single largest private sector in the region developed by Emaar, The Economic City (Emaar.E.C), and evaluated the progress achieved. King Abdullah inaugurated several new initiatives in the six zones of KAEC that are set to further energise the economy by attracting investment inflow, creating jobs and supporting local entrepreneurship.
He was welcomed Mr Amr Bin Abdullah Al-Dabbagh, Governor, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) – the prime facilitator of KAEC; Mr Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman; Mr Abdullah Saleh Kamel, Vice Chairman; and Mr Fahd Al-Rasheed, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar.E.C; senior government officials and other dignitaries, who briefed him on the various components of the project, especially highlighting the investment inflow generated with the launch of the first phase.
King Abdullah appraised the progress in development and briefed Emaar.E.C officials on its future direction of development. He highlighted the role played by Economic Cities in enhancing the competitiveness of the Saudi economy and ushering in socio-economic prosperity.
The king officially inaugurated the roll-out of the Sea Port; the Industrial Zone that includes a total Industry City and plastic industry projects. Marking a new era in the industrial climate of the Kingdom are two initiatives – the aluminium smelter developed in association with EMAL and the Total Oil factory. King Abdullah also opened work on general public utilities, the transportation infrastructure, the SAGIA building and Smart City centre.
King Abdullah also flagged off the Knowledge Industry projects including the infrastructure work for the Smart City and unveiled the Healthcare City, Media City, Science Research Complex, Environment Protection Centre, the Cadre Technical City for human resources development, various educational organizations, the Thunderbird University and Colombia University. Among other significant launches are tourism and services projects including the Ritz-Carlton Hotel & Resort and convention centre, the Bay La Sun Hotel and Mall and the Holiday Inn Express Hotel. Details of these new initiatives will be revealed shortly.
Mr Alabbar said: “As the largest economy in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has consolidated its premier position as one of the world’s most competitive economies under the guidance and visionary leadership of The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin AbdulAziz AlSaud. Saudi Arabia has rolled out several initiatives aimed at enhancing the socio-economic prosperity of Saudi citizens, with the Economic Cities not only creating new job opportunities but also attracting foreign investment.”
He added: “King Abdullah Economic City is the pioneering Economic City development in Saudi Arabia and has set a new benchmark in creating economic growth opportunities. KAEC has already created dynamic investment clusters that attract investment in several high-growth sectors including industry, sea port, hospitality and property.”
Mr Kamel observed: “We thank the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin AbdulAziz AlSaud for his guidance and support in developing KAEC for the overall benefit of Saudi citizens. His visit to KAEC highlights the government’s continued interest in the project, which inspires us to undertake the project execution in an accelerated schedule.”
Mr Al-Rasheed explained: “KAEC is creating a vibrant growth sector under the guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin AbdulAziz AlSaud and offers Saudi nationals the opportunity to set up business in industry & manufacturing, apart from gaining employment opportunities.”
Emaar.E.C already has a strong workforce comprising over 64 per cent Saudi nationals. More than 7,000 professionals are employed on site currently with the number expected to increase to 10,000 in a year. KAEC has the potential to create 1 million jobs and will be home to 2 million people.
Located on the Red Sea coast on 168 million sq m, KAEC has six components: the Sea Port, Industrial Zone, Central Business District, Educational Zone, Resort District and Residential Communities.
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