SAGIA unveils second economic city

16 June 2006

Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) unveiled on 12 June plans to build a new city at a greenfield site in the Hail region in the north of the country. To be called Prince Abdulaziz bin Mosaed Economic City, the project will be implemented by a newly created investment group made up of local and regional investors. The project comes six months after the launch of the estimated $27,000 million King Abdullah Economic City, being developed by Dubai's Emaar Properties.

The proposed Hail development will be built over a 156 million-square-metre site with total funding of about SR 30,000 million ($8,000 million) over 10 years. The scheme will be carried out in stages with groundbreaking scheduled to begin by the fourth quarter. It will have six core activities including logistics and a supply chain zone, educational district, agriculture and food processing services area, mining services area, entertainment hub and residential district. The elements are:A transportation hub, to include an international airport, dry port, supply chain centre and multi-modal passenger station;An education district, to be built over 10 million square metres with colleges, research centres, schools and universities serving about 40,000 students;An agricultural district, to host a number of factories and research centres;A mining and industrial area, to utilise the region's natural resources and build various secondary industries;An entertainment district, which will include construction of hotels, shopping malls and associated tourist attractions;A residential district, to provide 30,000 housing units to cater to about 140,000 residentsGroundbreaking is scheduled to begin by September with infrastructure work expected to cost about SR 6,000 million ($1,600 million). 'In the first year, construction will include a new dry port, passenger station, warehouses and food processing services,' says a source at SAGIA. 'Details on the financing and planning have still to be finalised.'

A new project company, led by the local Rakisah Holding Company, has been set up to build the facilities. Local investors include the Yousif bin Ahmed Kanoo Company, Ahmad Hamad Al-Qusaibi & Brothers Company, Tanmiyat Group, Al-Rashid Trading & Contracting, Rashid bin Abdulrahman Al-Rashid & Sons, Abullatif & Company Group, Al-Jouf (Muflih Kayid) Company and the newly-created Hail Investment & Development Company. Regional investors include Abu Dhabi Investment House, Kuwaiti Investment Company, General Warehousing Company, also of Kuwait and Bahrain's Gulf Finance House.

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