Local Rezaik al-Jedrawi Company has won a SR313m ($83.4m) contract to build phase one of the Al-Waha Community at King Abdullah Economic City (Kaec) north of Jeddah.

The first phase of Al-Waha covers approximately 180,000 square metres and comprises 650 units. Sales and pre-leasing will start in 2014. Customer handover is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2015

 “We have planned the scope of residential accommodation at KAEC to cover all income levels and Al-Waha is among the first communities within Kaec addressing the need for middle-income housing,” said Fahd al-Rasheed, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of Kaec.

“Al-Waha is an innovative concept comprising several distinct villages organised around a system of open-space corridors and roadways, complete with activity centres that provide places to worship, learn, shop, dine, socialise, play and relax in a landscaped setting that provides an aesthetically pleasing environment,” he added.

Part of Saudi Arabia’s plans to diversify its economy by building a string of new cities around the country, Kaec will cover an area of 168 square kilometres in Rabigh, 100km north of Jeddah.

The city, which is being developed by Emaar, The Economic City, a subsidiary of Dubai’s Emaar Properties, is expected to house 2 million people, and create 1.3 million jobs. Kaec’s residential sector is planned to contain 250,000 apartments and 25,000 villas.

Located on the Red Sea coast, Kaec will be linked to the cities of Jeddah, Medina and Mecca by the $13.7bn Haramain high-speed railway, currently under construction.