Emaar, The Economic City (Emaar.E.C), the Tadawul-listed company developing King Abdullah Economic City, has reported strong growth in sales during 2008, 400 per cent more than the sales in 2007. The fast progress being made on the mega-project and the international response to its various components will drive growth for Emaar.E.C in 2009. With over 13,000 professionals and skilled workers employed on site, work is progressing round-the-clock to deliver homes and offices in the Residential Communities and the first land plots in the Industrial Zone, as per schedule, this year.
Emaar.E.C achieved strong revenues in 2008, led by the sale of residential and commercial units within various components of the first phase of KAEC. The net loss of SR292 million in 2008 is attributed to the ongoing construction work of the residences, offices, Industrial Zone and Sea Port in the 168 million sq m mega project. In 2008, several hundred homes and offices as well as plots in Industrial Zone were offered for sale, gaining overwhelming local and international investor response.
Mr Fahd Abdul Mohsen Al Rasheed, Board Member and Chief Executive Officer, Emaar.E.C, said: “KAEC made rapid progress in 2008, with the first phase of the project currently being undertaken. We thank the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin AbdulAziz AlSaud for his support to the project, and to the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), KAEC’s prime facilitator, for their concerted efforts in attracting foreign investment. “
He added: “We are also thankful to our shareholders, who have placed their trust in our project development competencies. Emaar.E.C is committed to ensuring long-term profitability and enhancing value. This is a mammoth project envisaged to usher in a new era of socio-economic progress in the Kingdom. Following the overwhelming sales last year, we are currently focusing our energies on completing the project as per schedule, which resulted in the operational costs.”
He said Emaar.E.C concentrated on finalizing the infrastructure including power, water, telecom and information & communication technology. This complements the efforts to make KAEC the first fully-integrated Smart City in the region. Key work undertaken include the design and construction of 2,334 villas, bridges, canals, infrastructure work for the Industrial Zone, and the design of hotels, shopping centres and an 18-hole golf course.
Mr Al-Rasheed explained that the progress made on the project in 2008 is perceptible with the project taking concrete shape in terms of infrastructure and buildings. “This has further instilled confidence in the investors leading to record sales last year. We also awarded several key contracts last year to Saudi companies. In addition, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud laid the foundation of significant initiatives such as the Plastics Valley, dedicated to plastics industries, and other new projects such as Healthcare City, Media City, Science Research Complex, Environment Protection Centre, Cadre Technical City for human resources development, Thunderbird Middle East University and Colombia University.”
Highlighting its commitment to create an integrated community, Emaar.E.C and SAGIA, last year, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Global Educational Management Systems (GEMS), an international education provider, to establish the first school in KAEC. The school will be operational this year, and will spread over and area of 50,000 sq m. It will initially offer kindergarten to high school classes for over 2,000 students and also drive KAEC’s objective of becoming the regional Centre of Excellence in education.
Mr Al-Rasheed said: “Last year, we entered into several other strategic agreements with global players for implementing the six key components of KAEC. These regional and international partnerships highlight the world-class standards that Emaar.E.C is bringing in to the project. International partners will work in establishing schools, malls, the Sea Port and other components of the project to ensure a fully integrated community.”
Highlighting Emaar.E.C’s commitment to job nationalisation, the company recruited several qualified Saudi nationals across various sectors. “Today, Saudi nationals comprise 64 per cent of our workforce. KAEC will catalyse the growth of the Kingdom with a potential to create one million jobs, when completed in phases,” said Mr Al-Rasheed.
About Emaar, The Economic City:
Emaar, The Economic City (Emaar.E.C), established in September 2006, is a Saudi joint stock company managed by Emaar Properties PJSC, a global property developer, and a number of high profile investors from Saudi Arabia.
Emaar.E.C leads the master-planning and development of the 168 million sq m King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), a project being built on a pristine location off the Red Sea in the north of Jeddah. Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, the body responsible for inward investments into the Kingdom, is the prime facilitator for KAEC.
KAEC, a New Age City being built today for tomorrow’s generation of Saudi citizens, has six components – the Sea Port, Industrial Zone, Central Business District, Educational Zone, Resort Zone and Residential Communities.
The mega-project works closely with the Kingdom’s on-going drive to expand the economy, create employment opportunities for its youth population and function as a catalyst to attract foreign investment, global trade, commerce and industry. Based on initial forecasts, the project and its several components will create up to one million employment opportunities in the various industries and service-oriented companies that will open in KAEC. It will also be home to 2 million residents.
© 2000 - 2022 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)