Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Emaar the Economic City (EEC), a consortium headed by real estate major Emaar Properties and a number of investors from Saudi Arabia, has made rapid progress on ground and site work for its flagship development in Saudi Arabia, the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).
The single largest private sector initiative in the Kingdom, KAEC is a SR100 billion (US$26.6 billion) project off the Red Sea Coast covering a Greenfield site of 55 million sq m. Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), the body responsible for inward investments to the Kingdom, is the prime facilitator of KAEC.
EEC’s initial public offering of 255 million shares – 30 per cent of its total equity – to raise SR2.55 billion (US$679.9 million) is currently open for subscription and will run through August 2, 2006. Approved by the Capital Market Authority (CMA) of Saudi Arabia, the IPO is fully underwritten and open only for Saudi nationals. The subscription is for a minimum of 50 shares and a maximum of 25,000 shares of SR 10 each.
“KAEC is more than a property development – it will usher in a new era in the economic growth of Saudi Arabia through its six well-rounded components that integrate commercial, retail, residential and leisure amenities,” said EEC Chairman Mr Mohamed Ali Alabbar. “Apart from building a whole new city and laying out the entire infrastructure support, the direct contribution of KAEC to the economy is its employment potential of 500,000 jobs.”
Groundwork on KAEC, unveiled late-2005, is going full steam ahead. The structural steel work for the presentation center has been executed and installation of precast walls will be completed in a fortnight. Work is also underway on the project’s first boulevard – a 15 km long stretch that features over 3,000 palm trees.
“Excavation work for the first city canal to run through the Red Sea Village, a component of KAEC, has started. Geotechnical investigations are being conducted for dwelling units, and designs for one of the main entry gates, the first Corniche Park and marina have been completed. There are over 500 workers on-site now, and the number will exceed 1,000 soon,” said Mr Nidal Jamjoom, Chief Executive Officer, EEC.