Saudi Arabia is pushing ahead with plans to complete building work on a new megacity in the desert.
The King Abdullah Economic City, or KAEC (pronounced ‘cake’), will be slightly larger than Washington DC and home to approximately two million residents.
Covering 70 square miles, the metropolis is costing Â£67 billion ($100 billion) and lies 100km from Jeddah, the commercial hub of the kingdom, near the Red Sea.
So far 15 per cent has been built, as public facilities and residential areas are still under construction. Plans include a port, industrial complex, a financial island, beach facilities and residential neighborhoods.
KAEC is one of four new cities being built to diversify an economy that is overly dependent on oil. Already it has its own website showing plans, maps and including details on how to invest.
‘We’re not competing with Jeddah’s Islamic port – but we are going to take business away from Jebel Ali in Dubai. That’s because of our quicker, more automated offloading and customs procedure.’
The Saudi’s are trying to replicate the success of Dubai
There is a website promoting the development and attracting new citizens, companies and investors King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) was founded by King Abdullah in 2006.
The master developer of KAEC is Emaar, The Economic City (EEC). A Tadawul-listed real estate development and management company, EEC’s primary focus has been the planning and development of KAEC. When it offered its first successful public offering in July 2006, EEC made history: More than half of the Saudi population subscribed to it. EEC is headed by Emaar Properties PJSC and a number of high-profile investors from Saudi Arabia.
The sole regulator of KAEC is the Economic Cities Authority (ECA), headquartered in KAEC. With a comprehensive scope and a wide spectrum of incentives for investors and residents alike, ECA offers privileged regulations, including: 100% foreign ownership for individuals and organizations, seaport and bonded zone regulations, and ease of access to permits and licenses related to residing, working, operating businesses, and owning and managing properties. ECA provides government services under one roof, within 60 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
SOURCES – KEAC.net, IBC World News
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