Industrial cities

In a country covering 2 million sq km, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia  offers investors a wide choice of sites well-suited to industry and industrial support.

The Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu (RCJY) is responsible for the management and development of major industrial sites at Jubail on the Arabian Gulf coast, covering 1,016 sq km; and Yanbu on the Red Sea coast, covering 187 sq km. To date, a total of $144 billion of public and private investment at the two sites has created around 107,000 jobs.

The Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon) is managing and developing 114 sq km of land in more than 32 industrial cities. The largest of these is Sudair Industrial City, a 26 sq km development 120 km north of Riyadh. In all, over 300,000 people work in leased and owned premises at Modon sites.

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Modon-approved and -licensed private companies are developing six additional private industrial cities: Obaikan, Water and Energy, Fanar, Al-Ajaimi, Industrial Gate and Rabigh.

Sponsored by Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical, Rabigh Conversion Industrial Park (Rabigh CIP) extends over 240 hectares. Strategically located near both the PetroRabigh refinery and petrochemical complex, and King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), Rabigh CIP aims to attract foreign, Saudi and international joint-venture tenants in plastics conversion and related industries.

KAEC is the largest of four new, largely privately funded economic cities in KSA. The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) is leading the development of these cities, aiming to: generate $150 billion of economic output a year; promote balanced regional development; help diversify the economy; create over a million new jobs; and accommodate 4.5 million people.

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Costing $45.3 billion and covering 168 sq km, KAEC is located on KSA's Red Sea coast, 40 km from Rabigh. It will provide around 1 million jobs and will be home to 2 million people by 2025.

KAEC's new port will have an initial capacity of 5 million containers a year (twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU)), and ultimately 20 million TEU, plus facilities to handle passengers, dry bulk and general cargo.

The city will also include: a 63 sq km industrial zone, part of which will be dedicated to developing and producing plastics for the automotive, biomedical, construction and food packaging industries; a railway station; a multi-university campus for 18,000 students; two water desalination plants; two power plants; and an aluminium smelter.

KAEC will be served by Haramain high-speed trains, which will link the western cities of Medina, Jeddah and Mecca from 2016. Built for 320 km/h operations, the Haramain line is expected to carry 6 million passengers in 2016, increasing later to 12 million a year.

At Obhur, between KAEC and Jeddah, the planned 1,600-metre (one mile) high Kingdom Tower will be the world's tallest building.

Also near KAEC, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a well-respected research and teaching university with around 800 postgraduate students.

Located in Hail, north-central Saudi Arabia, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Mousaed Economic City (PABMEC) will include an airport for 3 million passengers and railway station for 2 million passengers a year, and a major logistics centre. PABMEC will cost $8 billion, cover 156 sq km, provide 55,000 jobs and accommodate 300,000 people.

Focused on knowledge and culture, Medina's $7 billion Knowledge Economic City (KEC) will have a population of 150,000 and provide 20,000 jobs. Covering only 4.8 sq km, KEC is not targeting industrial development but can accommodate R&D and other industrial support activities.

Medina is easily accessible: its Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport is being expanded and will have a capacity of 14 million passengers a year by 2016.

Extending over 108 sq km and costing $27 billion, Jazan Economic City (JEC) is 60 km from Jizan on the Red Sea coast, in south-western KSA. JEC will include an airport for up to 3 million passengers a year, a port, power and water desalination plant, oil refinery and integrated petrochemical complex, and steel and aluminium plants. It will provide some 100,000 jobs and will be home to 300,000 people.

Across KSA, municipalities also offer investors leasable land to house small industrial projects.

© Copyright 2012 National Industrial Clusters Development Program. All rights reserved.