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Massive Saudi property development switches focus

Kevin Brass The National
King Abdullah Economic City is planned to cover more than 168 square kilometres and house more than 2 million people. Omar Salem / AFP

King Abdullah Economic City is planned to cover more than 168 square kilometres and house more than 2 million people. Omar Salem / AFP


King Abdullah Economic City, the master-planned development under construction on Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast, is reconfiguring its plans to focus on more low and middle-income housing, says the developer.



"With the financial crisis we don't have as much demand and we're not developing as fast," said Fahd al Rasheed, the chief executive of the developer Emaar, The Economic City, a joint venture with Emaar, the developer based in Dubai, and the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority.

King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), north of Jeddah, is planned to cover more than 168 square kilometres and house more than 2 million people, clustered around a new industrial district, schools, commercial space and the Red Sea's biggest port. It is scheduled for completion in 2025.

KAEC handed over its first 170 residential units earlier this year, with another 190 scheduled for completion this month, Mr al Rasheed said. Another 300 will be handed over in the first half of next year, with prices for property ranging from 200,000 Saudi riyals (Dh195,851) to 60 million riyals.


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