JEDDAH: Authorities in Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City have discussed with a number of Irish universities and other educational organizations the development of investment opportunities in the education sector, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.
Other participants in the virtual meeting included Enterprise Ireland — the government agency responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets, and the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce. It also featured cooperation from Saudi Arabia’s cultural attache in Ireland, the ministries of education and investment, and the Economic Cities and Special Zones Authority.
Cyril Piaia, CEO of Emaar the Economic City, said that the aim of the meeting was to encourage Irish universities to establish campuses in KAEC, which he described as one of the most important Saudi locations supporting a national initiative to attract more international educational institutions.
He highlighted the pioneering work of KAEC, as represented by the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship, along with the capabilities and advanced infrastructure offered by the city and its economic strategy to develop the education sector by attracting prestigious international educational institutions.
The meeting is the first of a series with educational institutions and organizations in various countries in support of efforts by the Saudi Ministry of Education and other government agencies to develop the sector, Piaia said.
Another topic during the meeting was support for the World Academy, which currently hosts more than 600 students. Piaia added that the Economic City also hosts the National Aviation Academy, the Culinary Arts Academy, and the Tamouh Academy, which aims to teach and empower national cadres by developing the capabilities and skills of students by bridging the gap between education qualifications and the demands of the labor market.
He said KAEC provides an integrated platform for investment and business, boosted by its strategic location on the Red Sea coast and its position as a leading destination for housing, tourism and entertainment. He added that in cooperation with its partners from the public and private sectors it has become a role model for the urban planning of modern cities.
It aims to provide an attractive regulatory environment for investment supported by competitive incentives and capabilities, which is helping to localize national capital and attract foreign investment, in an effort to diversify sources of income and provide more quality jobs for Saudi youth.