HOK Canada drafted in to masterplan Madinah KEC

US $7 billion development of Knowledge Economic City follows Saudi’s quest for foreign investment

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By  Angela Giuffrida Published  December 9, 2006

Architect and planning firm HOK Canada has been appointed to conduct studies and technical revisions that will lead to a more detailed masterplan of Saudi Arabia’s US $7 billion (SR26 million) Knowledge Economic City (KEC) project in Madinah. A contract for consultancy work has also been signed with IBI Group of Toronto. HOK Canada’s experience of planning mega developments in the region includes Dubai Marina, DIFC, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Festival City, the King Saud University and the King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh. A $100 million agreement has also been signed with Siraj Capital and Project Management and Development Company to develop the project’s hospitality sector, including the construction of hotels, apartments and an exhibition centre. A further $133 million deal has been struck with Savola Group to develop phase one of the project’s 100,000m2 retail complex. The built-up area at KEC is planned to reach nine million m2 and will cater to an estimated population of 150,000. “We are proud to work on a project that promises to be one of the largest in the hospitality sector in the Islamic world and a celebration of our history and culture,” said Dr Ghassan Al-Sulaiman, chairman, Siraj Capital. KEC is the third economic city in Saudi Arabia to be initiated by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority in a bid to attract foreign investment. The city will comprise a technology zone; an IT studies institute; an interactive museum on the life of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH); a centre for Islamic civilisation studies; a campus for medical research and life sciences; an integrated medical services zone; a retail zone; a business district; and residential zones.

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