The developer behind the world’s largest construction project, King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), has said the $100 billion megaproject could be ready by 2035.
Speaking on the sidelines of a regional conference of the World Economic Forum hosted by Jordan, Fahd Al Rasheed, the Group CEO of Emaar Economic City (EEC), which is building KAEC, said the company has recorded a 20 percent to 30 percent growth in its revenues over the past five years.
“We are obviously creating a product that people want to invest in, and we are creating enough value that we can make profit,” he told Associated Press.
He said the city currently has 3,000 residents and employs 7,000 in construction, with a target of 50,000 residents and 28,000 jobs by 2020. By that stage, Al Rasheed said a quarter of the city should be completed.
The project, which is being built from scratch about 100km north of Jeddah, will have an eventual capacity to host two million people and is excepted to be as big as Washington DC.
At the centre of the city is King Abdullah Port, which is aiming to use its strategic location on the Red Sea, through which almost one-quarter of world shipping trade passes, to make it a game changer.
The city also includes an Industrial Valley, as well as residential communities, tech clusters, universities and hospitals.
Haramain Station on the eastern side will link the city to Jeddah and the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah via Saudi Arabia’s latest high-speed rail network. A mega-mall also is being built near the station.
KAEC already has provided about 12,000 jobs and more than 70 companies are in the process of setting up bases, including multinationals Mars, Pfizer and Danone, and local family giants Abdul Latif Jameel and the Naghi Group.