Company: King Abdullah Economic City
Country: Saudi Arabia
Fahd Al Rasheed is heading up perhaps the Gulf’s most exciting real estate project.
As much of $100bn of investment is being poured into King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), a megaproject that is being built entirely from scratch on the Red Sea coast about 100km north of Jeddah. With a sprawling industrial valley, a large port and a central business district, KAEC is designed to offer what Saudi Arabia currently needs most right now; jobs and housing. So far, the city is progressing well; its first school and hotel opened last year, and it has already created over 12,000 jobs, mainly from the companies that are flocking to the city in order to set up base there. In 2011, KAEC hit profit for the first time; those profits rose by 129 percent in 2012. So when will the city be fully completed? “Our target is 2025,” Al Rasheed told us last year. “The city will not grow in a steady manner, like New York, for example, which grows at around 2 percent to 3 percent every year. We have already attracted 12,000 jobs in the last three years, so the growth that will happen in the next five years will be massive.”