JEDDAH: A “dangerous slum” has been transformed into a jewel of Saudi urban heritage in less than year, guests were told at the development’s ceremonial opening on Wednesday.
The central Awamiyah project in Qatif was opened by the governor of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz.
Local mayor Fahad Al-Jubair said he was delighted at the progress made in central Awamiyah, which he hailed as one of the most ambitious transformations in the Kingdom.
“The inauguration of the central Awamiyah project is a vital step in the comprehensive development of Qatif and its cities, so that it remains a cultural hub,” he said.
The mayor said the project was a beacon of what was possible for the people of Awamiyah. An architectural masterpiece, with its high towers, spacious courtyards, traditional souqs and cultural center, it would become a source of pride in Qatif for years to come, he said.
“The project’s importance, however, is not limited to its architecture only, but it also promotes the new concept of the citizens’ effective participation in shaping development. The people of Qatif have taken part in the project’s design stages, and actively participated in its implementation,” he said.
The mayor applauded the companies involved in the construction process, noting that a workforce of over 1,200 men had completed the work in under eight months, all while adhering to increasingly stringent safety and quality codes.
Officially opening the development, Prince Saud said: “This dream has been realized in less than a year. The team has transformed a dangerous slum area that represented an environmental and social threat into an urban heritage site.
“King Salman hosted the property owners throughout the summer as the construction began, when I laid the foundation stone here. Today, I am honored to inaugurate this project.”