DUBAI: The regeneration of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast will take a big jump forward with a SR18 billion ($5 billion) project by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) to lead the redevelopment of Jeddah’s waterfront corniche, to become “New Jeddah Downtown.”
The plan, announced on Wednesday, will generate 36,000 new jobs in the city over the next 10 years, to create “a unique tourist, residential and commercial destination,” a statement from PIF said.
It “aims to create a distinctive and attractive environment to support Jeddah’s ambition of becoming one of the world’s top 100 cities. The project will include spaces for entertainment, shopping, and commercial activities, which are accessible for both residents and visitors. In total, the project aims to deliver over 12,000 housing units to accommodate 58,000 new residents,” PIF added.
The project is the latest in a line of multibillion-dollar plans announced on the Red Sea coast, and could make Jeddah the hub of a trading and economic powerhouse straddling the Middle East and Africa.
The King Abdullah Economic City further up the coast will be augmented by improvement to the maritime infrastructure serving Makkah, as well as the gigantic Red Sea Resort project further north.
Initial preparation work in Jeddah is currently underway, with construction due to start in 2019 and the first phase of the project anticipated to open in the final quarter of 2022, PIF said.
“The project is in line with Vision 2030 objectives to develop tourism sites in accordance with the highest international standards and provide investment opportunities that contribute to the development of the private sector,” it added.
The project will take place across a 5 million square meter development and will be divided into six main sections, including new homes; new museums, and cultural and social centers; areas for business and innovation; gardens, amusement parks and sports facilities; hotels and hospitality facilities; retail spaces; as well as coastal areas for seaside activities, and walking routes along the private boat and yacht pier.
In total, residential space will comprise 42 percent of the new development, with 35 percent dedicated to entertainment and retail areas, 12 percent to office space, and 11 percent to new hotel and hospitality facilities.
No decisions have yet been taken on which contractors will be developing the site, a PIF spokesman said, but more information could emerge at the Future Investment Initiative event due to take place in Riyadh next month.