x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 February 2018

Saudi Arabia's PIF to redevelop Jeddah corniche at a cost of 18bn riyals

The 10-year project will have office, homes and hotels

A Saudi woman prepares to get into a taxi on a main street in Jeddah. AFP / Amer Hilabi
A Saudi woman prepares to get into a taxi on a main street in Jeddah. AFP / Amer Hilabi

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, will lead investment in a project to redevelop Jeddah’s waterfront corniche into a mixed-use area at a price tag of 18 billion Saudi riyals (Dh17.62bn).

The New Jeddah Downtown, which will be developed over 10 years, will help to create 36,000 jobs as part of kingdom’s Vision 2030 aimed at weaning the country off oil income by creating new revenue streams, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported.

“The project is in line with Vision 2030 objectives to develop tourism sites in accordance with the highest international standards and provide investment opportunities that contribute to the development of the private sector,” the agency said.

Construction on the project will start in 2019 with a view to completing the first phase in the fourth quarter of 2022. The agency did not say how many phases the project will have.

The project will stretch over a 5 million square metre area and will be divided into six main sections that include homes, offices, retail outlets, hotels, museums, a yacht pier and cultural and social facilities.

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Saudi Arabia to set up 10bn riyal entertainment investment firm

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The development will deliver over 12,000 housing units to accommodate 58,000 new residents. Around 42 per cent of the new development will be residential, 35 per cent dedicated to entertainment and retail areas, 12 per cent to office space, and 11 per cent to new hotel and hospitality facilities

Earlier this month the fund announced plans to set up a 10bn riyal entertainment investment company that will pour funds into several projects, including an entertainment complex that will be launched in 2019, the fund said, without providing further details.

The new company will seek partnerships and help expand the scope and variety of entertainment offerings, the fund added. The venture is targeting more than 50 million visitors per year and earmarked to create more than 22,000 jobs, contributing 8bn riyals to the kingdom’s GDP by the end of 2030.