$5bn ‘Jeddah Downtown’ project at heart of Red Sea regeneration

A night view of downtown Jeddah, better known as Balad. (File photo)
Updated 23 October 2017

$5bn ‘Jeddah Downtown’ project at heart of Red Sea regeneration

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.

 


Saudi foreign minister calls for ‘transparent and independent’ Beirut explosion investigation

Updated 42 min 30 sec ago

Saudi foreign minister calls for ‘transparent and independent’ Beirut explosion investigation

  • Prince Faisal bin Farhan told an emergency donors conference that Saudi Arabia stands with Lebanon
  • Minister condemns 'destructive hegemony' of Hezbollah, which has history of storing explosive materials among civilians

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia called for a transparent and independent investigation into the Beirut explosion, the Kingdom’s foreign minister said on Sunday.
Prince Faisal bin Farhan told an emergency donors conference that Saudi Arabia stands with Lebanon. He described the explosion that killed more than 150 people as “horrific.”

Prince Faisal said strong state institutions that work for the interests of the Lebanese people are vital to the reform required to guarantee Lebanon's political and economic future.
“The continued destructive hegemony of the terrorist organization Hezbollah worries us all, and we all know this organization’s history of using explosive materials and storing them among civilians in several Arab and European countries and in north and south America.”
“Lebanon is in dire need of comprehensive and urgent political and economic reform to ensure that this terrible disaster will not occur again,” he said.

He added that four planes carrying Saudi aid have arrived in Beirut.
The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has provided 290 tons of medical equipment, food supplies and housing materials.

The conference was hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron.