Emaar properties recently announced plans to build Saudi Arabia's fourth international airport to serve passenger and cargo traffic for the proposed $27 billion King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh, north of the coastal city of Jeddah.
Adnan Halawi, an aviation analyst for the Zawya online business portal out of Beirut, pointed out that the new airport is a logical move and will serve the growing population of workers and residents in the new city. Since 27 percent of the Saudi population is foreign, the six-million strong contingent will drive the demand in international travel.
"That's a lot of people coming in and out of the kingdom, and it's expected to increase," Halawai stressed according to Gulf News.
Saudi Arabia already has three of the ten largest international airports in the Middle East and Africa currently. "The Saudi airport industry is definitely skewed towards domestic markets more than the international market," Halawi added, though no details on the size of the new airport in Rabigh could be provided by Emaar spokesmen.