Saudi Arabia's US$40 billion (Dh146.92bn) Sudair City industrial project is a step closer as contractors have until Sunday to submit bids for the first stage of the massive development. The Saudi Industrial Property Authority (SIPA) will review proposals next week for the initial phase of the project on the outskirts of Riyadh, which is worth $1bn and will include warehouses, offices, residential buildings and possibly a hotel.
Construction is expected to begin within months and to be completed by the end of 2012. SIPA will develop this phase. Sudair City is one of a number of purpose-built industrial cities planned in Saudi Arabia as it diversifies its economy away from oil and develops projects to provide jobs for a young and growing population. Tawfig al Rabiah, the director general of SIPA, said the project would be financed by the Saudi government.
Sub-developers will also be appointed to develop the remaining phases of Sudair City, which will cover 258 square km. "Saudi Arabia is doing well financially and we have interest from many potential investors," said Mr al Rabiah. Sudair City, which is expected to accommodate up to a million people, is aimed at easing congestion and reducing migration to Riyadh. The development is also expected to be supported by the north-south railway, a 2,400km network under construction in the kingdom, and an airport.
Other Saudi economic cities under development include the Dh24bn Knowledge Economic City in Medina, the Dh29bn Prince Abdulaziz Bin Mousaed Economic City in Hail and the Jazan Economic City south of Jeddah. Emaar Properties, the Dubai-based developer, is helping to build King Abdullah Economic City on the Red Sea coast through its Saudi unit. @Email:email@example.com