Design under way for new Yemen airport

12 November 2018
Saudi Arabia has initiated multiple projects in line with Yemen's reconstruction drive

Design is under way for the new regional airport in the Yemeni city of Marib, roughly 120 kilometres east of the capital Sanaa, according to a local media report citing Mohamed al-Jaber, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen.

According to Al-Jaber, who also heads the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Programme for Yemen, the airport will cater to two million passengers and create 5,000 direct and 10,000 direct jobs.

He said the design is being undertaken by the same firm behind the airports in Abha and Jizan.

The planned new airport is one of multiple projects initiated by Saudi Arabia in Yemen. Other projects include the Salman Educational City, Socotra island development, and several hospitals in Seiyun City in Yemen’s Hadhramaut region.

MEED understands a new hospital is also due to open in Yemen’s Al-Jawf region “next week”.

In January, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud directed the transfer of $2bn to Yemen’s Central Bank in support of the country’s economy, which has been battered by the three-year civil war.

The fund transfer was made in response to Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghr’s public plea for funds to prop up the Yemeni currency, which had lost more than half of its value against the US dollar since the war broke out.

Yemen’s Central Bank has struggled to pay public sector salaries due to falling foreign exchange reserves.

Yemen’s government said it expects to register a $1.1bn deficit in 2018, the first year it has announced a budget since 2014, when the country descended into armed conflict.

The latest budget set total expected revenues in 2018 at YR978bn ($2.22bn), with YR1.46 trillion ($3.32bn) of spending.

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