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Emaar expands Economic City with new masterplan

RSP redraws plans to increase project fourfold and deliver the largest seaport in the Middle East

Emaar’s King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has been expanded by nearly four times its original planned size.

A new masterplan has been unveiled for the project, which will now span an area of over 168 million m2.

RSP Architects, the firm behind the design of the project, has revised the overall plan. Additional detailing was provided by WATG, SOM and Parsons International.

The masterplan has been modified to make substantial additions to the six major components – the port, industrial district, central business district, and the resort, educational and residential zones.

The expansion will generate employment opportunities for Saudis, as well as enhance foreign investment in the kingdom.

“King Abdullah Economic City is the single largest private sector development in Saudi Arabia and has been inspired by the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, to energise the kingdom’s economy,” said Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman, Emaar.

“King Abdullah instructed that the project must serve the largest possible number of Saudis and expand in its size and scope accordingly.”

He added: “Covering 13.8 million m2 – a major increase of 11.2 million m2 from the earlier project – the seaport will be the largest in the region with a capacity of over 10 million 20-foot equivalent unit containers per year, which is significantly higher than all other regional ports.”

KAEC is situated on a greenfield site on the Red Sea coast. It offers easy access to the two holy cities of Makkah and Madina and is also near to Jeddah.

“We are creating a new nerve-centre for global businesses that look at Saudi Arabia for the investment opportunities provided by the kingdom,” added Alabbar.

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