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JEDDAH-Emaar has increased–massively–the size of its largest-ever development in the Middle East, King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia to span 168 million sm. The Dubai-based company has increased the size of six major components: the port; the industrial district; the CBD (including commercial, mixed-use, retail and Financial Island); the resort, the educational zone; and the residential portion.

The new city will comprise: 13.8 million sm of port development; 40 million sm (five times the size originally planned) of industrial; 3.8 million sm of CBD, including offices, hotels and mixed-use commercial space; 8.7 million sm of retail (compared to 3.3 million sm originally planned); 25,000 hotel rooms in 120 hotels (rather than the original 12,000 rooms in 60 hotels); 250,000 apartments and 25,000 villas (originally, it was 110,000 apartments and 16,000 villas); 4.5 million sm of parks, 4.9 million sm of new water canals and 75 km of pedestrian promenade; 550 mosques including several Grand Mosques in the residential zones; several schools and university campus for 18,000 students; a sports stadium with 45,000 seats.

“King Abdullah had instructed that the project must serve the largest possible number of Saudis and expand in its size and scope of operations accordingly,” explains Emaar chairman Mohamed Ali Alabbar. “We are creating a new nerve-center for global businesses that looks at Saudi Arabia for the investment opportunities provided by the Kingdom.”

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. RSP Architects, master planners of King Abdullah Economic City, has revised the overall masterplan of the project. Additional detailed masterplanning was provided by WATG for resorts and residential zones, SOM for the city center and Parsons International for the industrial zone.

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