BNC report lists top Saudi development projects

New Jeddah Downtown — Phase 1
Updated 09 February 2018
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BNC report lists top Saudi development projects

A significant number of expansion and redevelopment projects are among the 10 highest value construction projects in Saudi Arabia, according to the latest “Top Projects in Saudi Arabia” report prepared by the BNC Network for The Big 5 Saudi. The multi-development expansion of Makkah’s Grand Mosque and the redevelopment of Jeddah’s downtown are included in the list.
The BNC report revealed that the expansion and redevelopment of existing structures and areas is a main theme.

1. Al-Faisaliya City
The $25 billion Al-Faisaliya City concept for the western coast of Makkah stands at the top of the BNC list in value. The development will spread across an area of 2,450 square kilometers and will provide 995,000 housing units to accommodate 6.5 million people.

2. Grand Mosque
With an estimated completion date of mid-2018, the $21.3 billion expansion project will be divided into three phases. The expansion will include the addition of a new seven-story building with 74 prayer halls, an ornate prayer hall spread over 250,000 square meters and a 5,000-square-meter central ceremonial area.

3. Dahiyat Al-Fursan
Valued at $20 billion and due for completion by 2020, the residential project involves the construction of 100,000 houses and infrastructure works.

4. Al-Ruwaid redevelopment
The Jeddah-based project is expected to be completed by 2030. It involves the redevelopment of Al-Ruwais district and transforming a slum area into an urban district.

5. King Abdullah Security Compounds — Phase 5
Phase 5 of the King Abdullah Security Compounds under development by the Ministry of Interior is valued at $8 billion and is expected to be completed this year. The entire project will involve the construction of 369 security compounds.

The other projects in the list include: Al-Shamiya and Mataf expansion, Mall of Saudi, New Jeddah Downtown — Phase 1, The Avenues — Al-Malqa, and Riyadh Medical Village.
Event Director for The Big 5 Saudi, Roni El-Haddad, said: “The call made by Saudi Vision 2030 to diversify KSA’s economy is driving construction activity across all markets; government plans to strengthen religious tourism anticipate an influx of pilgrims to the Grand Mosque and Mataf instigating its expansion, additionally there is increasing demand by young people for higher quality urban areas, the development of which currently makes up 70 percent of all construction activities in Saudi Arabia.”


J-PAL boosts refugee education

Updated 20 May 2018
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J-PAL boosts refugee education

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is launching a new scheme to help refugees access higher education in development economics. 

The goal of this new collaboration is to empower refugees through training that will enable them to leverage their local knowledge, build their technical skills, and become experts in the fields of development economics and public policy. 

Starting in the summer of 2018, J-PAL is teaming up with MIT’s Refugee Action (ReACT) initiative to provide access for selected refugees to the online MicroMasters program in Data, Economics and Development Policy (DEDP) offered by J-PAL and MIT’s Department of Economics. ReACT, which aims to connect refugees with higher education, will sponsor selected learners and provide access to five online MicroMasters DEDP courses on development economics; in-person workshops on business skills, and paid internships to put their skills into practice. 

Hassan Jameel, president of Community Jameel Saudi Arabia, said: “Education and learning are fundamental to a strong society, and providing access to MIT’s MicroMasters is a foundation upon which to rebuild the disrupted education and careers of refugees worldwide. 

“Building on computer science and entrepreneurship support for refugees in Jordan, this collaborative effort between J-PAL, MIT and ReACT creates another bespoke learning opportunity for refugees, opening doors and knocking down barriers to higher education for learners.” 

A MicroMasters is a professional and academic credential, accredited by MITx, MIT’s online learning platform, and offers individuals a route to applying for a full master’s degree program at MIT or other universities. 

The new initiative uses a carefully crafted model of blended learning — with financial support for online courses and in-person workshops, as well as strong emphasis on community building — to specifically target and overcome the educational challenges facing refugees. This track within ReACT aims to provide refugees with the tools they need to engage as technical experts with the problems facing their communities.