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Mon 29 Feb 2016 10:57 AM

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Dubai’s Al Futtaim to build logistics hub in King Abdullah Economic City

Conglomerate signs off land purchase deal as part of expansion plans in Saudi Arabia

Dubai’s Al Futtaim to build logistics hub in King Abdullah Economic City

Al Futtaim Group will build a logistics and distribution centre in Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) megaproject as part of the Dubai conglomerate’s aggressive expansion in the kingdom.

The company said on Monday it had signed an agreement to buy a 325,400 square metre plot of land in KAEC’s Industrial Valley.

“Our decision to invest in the Industrial Valley component of the visionary KAEC development was made in consideration of the valuable strategic location it occupies on the Red Sea coastline and adjacent to King Abdullah Port on one of the world’s busiest shipping routes,” said Omar Al Futtaim, vice chairman of Al Futtaim, in a press statement.

Al Futtaim is one of 110 local and international firms that are setting up shop in KAEC, a city and commercial hub that is being built from scratch about an hour’s drive north of Jeddah.

Other companies that have agreed to base themselves in KAEC are Mars, Danone, Sanofi, Ikea and Volvo.

In 2014, KAEC opened King Abdullah Port, which is fast establishing itself as major transport and logistics centre for the region. Last year, the port handled 1.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and is being served by major shipping lines, including UASC, Maersk and MSC.

As part of its expansion plans in Saudi Arabia, Al Futtaim announced in 2014 that it would build the kingdom’s largest mall, the $1.6 billion Al Diriyah Festival City, in Riyadh.

The 250,000 square metre site is being built in conjunction with Kayannat Real Estate.

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