King Salman of Saudi Arabia announced plans to invest $3 billion (SR11bn) in “New Taif” city projects, which includes new Taif Airport, expansion of Souq Okaz City, technology and industrial parks, a residential suburb of more than 10,000 homes and a new university.
New Taif, which is located in northeast of the current city of Taif, has a total area of approximately 1,250 square kilometr.
Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation has appointed a consortium comprised of Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), Aviation Security in Airport Development (Asiad) and Munich Airport operator Flughafen München GmbH to develop and operate the new Taif airport, which is being built over a 48-million square metre area at a cost of $835m (SR3.137bn). It is expected to be operational by 2020.
Souq Okaz City, which is to be supervised by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, will host a number of cultural and heritage attractions, as well as 1,250 hotel rooms and 130 homes. Saudi officials expect that the project will generate 4,400 jobs and attract over 260,000 visitors yearly.
The 35-milion square metre Technology Oasis, a joint venture of the Morganti Group and King Abdul Aziz City For Science and Technology, will include Antonov aircraft and assembly facilities, as well as facilities dedicated to the construction of solar panels and the development of solar energy.
Additionally, Technology Oasis will house a 50,000-square meter facility dedicated to fast growing fodder.
Other features of the new Taif project include a 10,000-housing unit residential area, an 11-million square metre industrial city which will include light, medium and heavy industries as well as a vocational training center, and a new university to be built at a cost of $533m (SR2 billion).
In a statement, King Salman said that the ultimate aim of the new Taif project was to serve the needs of the Saudi population.
“Our doors, our phones and our ears are open for every citizen,” he said.
The news follows the annoumcement that Virgin airlines founder Richard Branson will invest in a Red Sea project that aims to turn 50 Saudi Arabian islands into luxury tourism destinations.
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