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Sun 24 May 2015 02:52 PM

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Saudi's King Abdullah Economic City could be completed by 2035

Emaar Economic City CEO said the company has recorded 20% to 30% growth in its revenues over the past five years

Saudi's King Abdullah Economic City could be completed by 2035
King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC)

The developer
behind the world’s largest construction project, King Abdullah Economic City
(KAEC), has said the $100 billion megaproject could be ready by 2035.

Speaking on the
sidelines of a regional conference of the World Economic Forum hosted by
Jordan, Fahd Al Rasheed, the Group CEO of Emaar Economic City (EEC), which is
building KAEC, said the company has recorded a 20 percent to 30 percent growth in its
revenues over the past five years.

“We are
obviously creating a product that people want to invest in, and we are creating
enough value that we can make profit,” he told Associated Press.

He said the
city currently has 3,000 residents and employs 7,000 in construction, with a
target of 50,000 residents and 28,000 jobs by 2020. By that stage, Al Rasheed
said a quarter of the city should be completed.

The project,
which is being built from scratch about 100km north of Jeddah, will have an
eventual capacity to host two million people and is excepted to be as big as
Washington DC. 

At the centre
of the city is King Abdullah Port, which is aiming to use its strategic
location on the Red Sea, through which almost one-quarter of world shipping
trade passes, to make it a game changer.

The city also includes
an Industrial Valley, as well as residential communities, tech clusters,
universities and hospitals.

Station on the eastern side will link the city to Jeddah and the holy cities of
Makkah and Madinah via Saudi Arabia’s latest high-speed rail network. A
mega-mall also is being built near the station.

KAEC already
has provided about 12,000 jobs and more than 70 companies are in the process of
setting up bases, including multinationals Mars, Pfizer and Danone, and local
family giants Abdul Latif Jameel and the Naghi Group.

Click here for all the stories from our coverage of the World Economic Forum, MENA, in Jordan