Knowledge city project promises attractive returns to expatriates

Updated 18 May 2013

Knowledge city project promises attractive returns to expatriates

The sponsors of a multi-million rupee project in south India have promised attractive returns for investors among the Kerala expatriates in the Kingdom.
The project, Markaz Knowledge City (MKC), located at Kaithappoyil in Kozhikode district of Kerala state, is in its first phase of construction and is expected to be completed by 2015.
It is a three-phased project expected to be completed by 2020, according to Mohamed Shamshad, marketing manager of Landmark, the project builder.
“It will create 35,000 job opportunities directly and the city as a whole will give additional 25,000 jobs indirectly,” Shamshad told Arab News.
There will be an IT park built on a 1.25 million square feet area, he added.
Indian expatriates returning home will be given preference for employment in the city, as part of Jamia Markaz’s expatriate rehabilitation plan, he added .
Markaz Knowledge City (MKC) is one of the biggest education-focused integrated cities in South India and Kozhikode’s most futuristic residential-cum-commercial township project, spread on a vast lush green scenic land. It offers special exclusive facilities for higher education, health, IT, business, and lifestyle in a very “moral and friendly” environment, he said.
MKC will function with the support of Jamia Markaz, a charitable religious institution in India led by renowned scholar Sheikh Aboobaker Ahammed and as a gift to the community on its 35th anniversary.
The city is developed by Kerala’s Calicut Landmark Builders and Developers India Pvt. Ltd.
The project includes international school, college of graduate studies, engineering college, IT park-SEZ, business school, law college, Unani medical college, multi-specialty hospital, shopping mall, hotel, convention center and apartments.
He said 80 percent of the project land would be reserved for educational facilities and the remaining 20 percent for commercial purposes, which will draw financial support for the educational core.
The educational core, which promotes integrated moral and modern higher education, is developed by Jamia Markaz through donations from its well-wishers and philanthropists.

Saudi Arabia aims to achieve e-payment target of 70%

Updated 22 February 2019

Saudi Arabia aims to achieve e-payment target of 70%

  • Reform plan seeks cashless society
  • E-payments could exceed $22bn in next four years

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia wants to achieve an e-payment target of 70 percent by 2030, a banking official told Arab News on Thursday, as the country moves toward becoming a cashless society.

Talat Hafiz, from the Media and Banking Awareness Committee for Saudi Banks, said online or cashless transactions were part of the Vision 2030 reform plan.

The Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) was one of the initiatives to support the economic growth goals of Vision 2030, he added.

“Basically it is to transfer Saudi society from being heavily cash dependent in buying goods and services to a cashless society using digital and electronic payment,” he told Arab News. “One of the FSDP’s main targets is to increase and improve the percentage of non-cash utilization, from 18 percent in 2016 to 28 percent in 2020. However, the goal will increase of course with the target to 70 percent by 2030.”

Hafiz, in an Arab News column published earlier this month, said the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) had been encouraging electronic payments and settlements in order to reduce the reliance on cash.

SAMA had introduced a number of e-payment systems in the last two decades to help consumers and institutions, he wrote, such as the Saudi Arabian Riyal Interbank Express and the online bill payment portal SADAD.

Earlier this week Apple Pay was launched in the Kingdom, joining the cashless roster of payment methods available to Saudi consumers.

A cashback service operated by credit card companies, where a percentage of the amount spent is paid back to the cardholder, was introduced last year in Saudi Arabia.

An illustration of how direct debit works, courtesy of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).

“All of these efforts collectively from the SAMA side are to reach the ambitious goal of the FSDP.”

Hafiz explained that e-payments saved time and effort and allowed people to access service and goods around-the-clock. 

“This is basically why SAMA is very active and now we see SAMA and the National Payment System are responsible and leading (the country) toward a cashless society by achieving the target set by 2030.”

Last February the Amazon-owned Payfort online payments service registered a new company in Saudi Arabia.

According to the “Payfort State of Payments 2017” report, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the fastest growing markets in the region for electronic payments.

The report estimates that Saudi Arabia conducted $8.3 billion of payment transactions in 2016, showing 27 percent year-on-year growth.

E-payments in the Kingdom are expected to double over the next four years to reach more than $22 billion, the report added.