More than 80 megaprojects, each worth at least $1 billion, are underway or planned for completion by 2030 in Saudi Arabia making it the Middle East’s largest construction and build market by a huge margin. Here are 10 of the most exciting.
1. King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh. Located off the Red Sea north of Jeddah across 168 million sq m the project is valued at $27 billion. Master developer is Emaar, The Economic City. It includes a port and logistics, financial center, light industry, and services and will create an estimated one million jobs and two million people will live there.
2. The Knowledge Economic City in Madinah. This $7 billion project across 4.8million sq m, will create 20,000 new jobs and be home to around 200,000 people. It will include an education-entertainment Islamic theme park, shopping complex, hotels and public transport. The master developer is Quad International.
3. Jazan Economic City. Focusing on Heavy Industry and Agribusiness in the south west of the Kingdom covering 100 million sq m. The $27 billion city will bring 500,000 new jobs and a population of 250,000. Two-thirds of the city will be industrial park and it will also provide a seaport.
4. King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, Security Forces Medical Complexes. KSA’s largest medical project, and also the largest medical project in the GCC, is the estimated $6.7bn. Two separate medical cities for security forces that are being developed in Riyadh and Jeddah on behalf of the Kingdom’s Interior Ministry.
5. King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, KSA. The design phase project will cover an area of 350 hectares and cost an estimated $1.2bn. The capacity of the primary five-story hospital building will be 1,500 beds, of which 500 beds have been allotted for specialist referrals.
6. King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah. This in the main airport hub for the west of the Kingdom, near Jeddah. The three-stage development began in 2006 with the aim of catering for 30m Muslim pilgrims bound for the Holy Cities. The $1.5 billion Phase 1 in the 400,000 sq m terminal complex, control tower, access roads and utilities. Phase 2 and 3 will take the airport through to 2035 when it will cater for 85m people annually.
7. Saudi Landbridge. The $7bn Red Sea to the Gulf rail line is an integral part of the GCC’s connected rail network. Italferr has been awarded a $37m contract by the Saudi Railways Company (SAR) to design the Landbridge – a 950km line between Riyadh and Jeddah, and a second 115km line between Dammam and Jubail. Transit times for freight between Jeddah and Dammam will be reduced to 18 hours, compared with the current sea voyage of 5-7 days, with capacity for 8m tons of freight a year.
8. Jubail II, Saudi Arabia. A 22-year industrial project that is getting an $80 billion expansion. This project will have the effect of double the population of the area. When completed, it will be composed of 100 industrial plants, 800,000 cubic meter desalination plant, miles and miles of railways, roads and highways, and an oil refinery producing at least 350,000 barrels per day. The entire project is slated to be finished in 2024.
9. Riyadh Metro. Saudi Arabia’s sprawling and congested capital is in a race against time to complete its SR85 billion ($22.5 billion) metro system within four years. Construction began a year ago taking over the city’s business core, to the frustration of drivers facing detours and lane-closures. With 176km of line and 80 stations this is the biggest project of its type in the world.
10. The Kingdom Tower, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This will be the world’s tallest building at more than 1km high once complete in 2019. The Kingdom Tower, developed by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Company. Estimated cost is $1.23 billion to build on foundations 60 meters deep.