A new company that aims to transform Jeddah was launched yesterday, the Arab News reported today.
The project aims to raise Jeddah’s status as the “Gateway to the Two Holy Mosques” and radically expand its roles as both regional and global economic hub.
The Jeddah Central District Company (JCDC) was unveiled at a press conference by its chairman Ghassan Al-Sulaiman. Eight years in the planning, JCDC comprises Urban Development Co. Ltd. of Saudi Arabia (UDC), Solidere International Limited, Siraj Capital (Saudi Arabia), the Commercial Real Estate Co. (Kuwait) and Venture Capital Bank (Bahrain).
The consortium has signed a memorandum of understanding with Jeddah Municipality for the massive project, which will integrate commercial, residential and leisure development in the city.
Plans include a developed 16 km stretch of Red Sea waterfront, a revival of historic Old Jeddah, and a transformation of the city center into a 6sq km zone with public parks, pedestrian walkways and recreation areas. In addition, green areas will be added to the city center and improve its lagoons through building a pressurized water flow system based on tidal movement.
The project is a partnership between the public and private sectors. Ground will be broken at the beginning of next year and construction is expected to be completed in 25 years.
“Through proper planning and integrated environmental upgrading of the area, the historic area will be preserved and developed for coming generations. This will attract economic projects capable of raising living standards and providing job opportunities,” Suleiman said as quoted in the Arab News.
Also yesterday, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah inspected the expansion plan for Prince Muhammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah that aims to increase the airport’s annual capacity to 12 million passengers.
The project includes construction of a second runway as well as a new passenger lounge covering an area of 256,000 square meters, renovation of the existing runway and the construction of commercial areas. It is expected to be completed in three phases before 2019.