Jeddah Al Balad project gets under way

14 May 2024
The project aims to preserve the heritage and culture of Jeddah

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Saudi Arabia’s Al Balad Development Company (BDC), which is backed by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is working to revitalise Jeddah’s historic district and transform it into a heritage and tourism destination.

“We are looking to tackle the urban challenges in Jeddah,” said Sean O’Sullivan, general manager for projects department – Jeddah Historical District at Saudi Arabia's Culture Ministry, on 13 May at the MEED Saudi Giga Projects event in Riyadh.

The project’s goal is to preserve the heritage and culture of Jeddah.

BDC has been tasked with revitalising the historic areas of Jeddah to turn them into an economic hub and global cultural, heritage and tourism destination.

The company plans to achieve these goals by upgrading the district’s infrastructure, overseeing the restoration of historic buildings in Al Balad and developing service facilities and recreational, residential, commercial, hotel and office spaces.

O'Sullivan said the Jeddah Historical District is working closely with Unesco to restore more buildings in the city and turn them into commercial assets.

Project background

In 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud announced plans to transform the Al Balad area in Jeddah into an urban space for commercial and cultural activities.

The PIF established BDC in October 2023 in line with this plan.

The overall project development area is about 2.5 square kilometres. The development will have a total built-up area of 3.7 million square metres (sq m). This includes 9,300 residential units, 1,800 hotel units and about 1.3 million sq m of commercial and office space.

BDC intends to engage with the private sector and specialists to develop the area’s infrastructure.

MEED's April 2024 special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

> GVT & ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia seeks diversification amid regional tensions
> BANKING: Saudi lenders gear up for corporate growth
> UPSTREAM: Aramco spending drawdown to jolt oil projects
> DOWNSTREAM: Master Gas System spending stimulates Saudi downstream sector

> POWER: Riyadh to sustain power spending
> WATER: Growth inevitable for the Saudi water sector
> CONSTRUCTION: Saudi gigaprojects propel construction sector
> TRANSPORT: Saudi Arabia’s transport sector offers prospects


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