Hail, Asharq Al-Awsat- King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (KSA), announced the launch of the Prince AbdulAziz bin Mousaed Economic City (PABMEC) in Hail. The announcement was made during an event held on June 13th to celebrate the King’s first visit to Hail since becoming monarch. PABMEC is set to be a premier commerce and industry hub promoting a diversified economy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The city will utilize 156 million square meters with total outlay reaching Saudi Riyal (SR) 30 billion (US$ 8 billion) over the next 10 years, which will be fully funded by the private sector. Implementation is slated to begin in September 2006.
PABMEC is the second economic city launched by the King in seven months, with the first being the King Abdullah Economic City launched in Rabigh (west of Saudi Arabia) in December 2005.
PABMEC will be developed by an investment Consortium supervised by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and headed by Rakisa Holding Company. The Consortium comprises companies from various GCC countries; from Saudi Arabia: Yousif bin Ahmed Kano Company, Ahmad Hamad Al-Qusaibi & Bros. Co., Tanmeeyat Group, Al-Rashid Trading and Contracting Co., Rashid bin Abdulrahman Al-Rashid & Sons Co., Abullatif and Company Group, Al-Jouf (Muflih Kayid) Co., and Hail Investment and Development Co. (under establishment); from the United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the Abu Dhabi Investment House, and the National Investment Co.; from the Kingdom of Bahrain: Gulf Finance House; and from Kuwait: Kuwaiti Investment Co., and General Warehousing Company which holds a stake in the largest logistics services company in the world, PWC Logistics.
“The project aims to utilize the Kingdom’s second competitive advantage after energy – its strategic location as a link between East and West- and leverage it through the establishment of a fully integrated economic city providing transportation and logistics services. Produce and minerals arriving from the north of Saudi Arabia and surrounding areas within Hail region will be traded, marketed and processed to add value to the raw material,” said His Excellency SAGIA Governor Amr Abdullah Al-Dabbagh.
He added that the project is a realization of the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Crown Prince Sultan to develop the various regions of the country.
Hail’s strategic location in the heart of the Kingdom’s north at the crossroads of nautical, transportation and supportive service paths and its proximity to 11 Arab capitals, has made it a prime destination to host the Prince AbdulAziz bin Mousaed Economic City.
“The Prince AbdulAziz bin Mousaed Economic City will be the largest project of its kind in the Middle East for logistic and transportation services,” said Al-Dabbagh.
His Excellency Sheikh AbdulAziz Al-Quraishi will be chairman-elect of the board of directors for the new company to be established to oversee the project. He previously held the position of Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), and has also sat on the board of directors of a number of major corporations in Saudi Arabia, including the Saudi Industrial Investment Group.
Abdullah Ibrahim Al-Rakhis, chairman of the board of directors of Rakisa Holding Company, the investment Consortium leader, said, “PABMEC is a leap forward not just for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but for the economy of the Middle East as a whole. The project will benefit various sectors of the economy and boost agriculture, mining and processing, education and residential developments. In addition, PABMEC will contribute to the expected doubling of per capita GDP in Hail within the next10 years.”