JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia, the Middle East’s largest economy, plans to increase the number of its industrial cities to 30 in five years, state-run Saudi Press Agency reported Tuesday, citing a senior official at the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon).
The Kingdom will double the area occupied by industrial cities to 150 million square meters in the coming five years, said Tawfig Fawzan Alrabiah, Modon’s director general, according to SPA.
Saudi Arabia is trying to diversify the economy and lower dependence on oil by building up new industries aimed at stepping up job creation for a rapidly rising young population.
The Kingdom is rolling out investments worth $400 billion until 2013 to upgrade infrastructure, build roads, power plants, utilities and universities.
Modon is currently overseeing 18 existing industrial cities in different regions of Saudi Arabia (Riyadh 1 and 2, Jeddah 1and 2, Dammam 1and 2, Makkah, Qassim, Ahsa, Madinah, Assir, Al-Jouf, Tabuk, Hail, Najran, Al-Kharj, Jazan, Ar’ar, in addition to Sudair City for Industry and Business).
Modon is experiencing increased growth in demand for the industrial lands.
More than 500 plots of lands have been allocated in year 2008 and the number increased to 800 plots of land in year 2009, whereas the allocation of land is expected to exceed 1,000 plots until the end of 2010 as the new cities that have been established during the previous two years each in Al-Kharj, 2nd Jeddah, Ar’ar and Jazan have accommodated a lot of requests.
Recently, it has signed the first projects to implement the infrastructure of Taif Industrial City.
The total area of Taif industrial city is 11 million square meters. The first phase of three million square meters shall be developed including the development works, pavement of roads as well as the establishment of a road connecting the industrial city to be implemented within 18 months. The first phase is expected to accommodate approximately 150 factories.
Alrabiah said Modon seeks to provide integrated services industrial lands in various regions of the Kingdom, which will provide sustainable investment opportunities that will help create jobs for citizens.
Taif Industrial City is considered the first industrial city in the province to complement other industrial cities in the Makkah region, which include the 1st and 2nd Jeddah industrial cities and Makkah Industrial City.
Taif Industrial City will also create job opportunities for citizens in the region and will be an environment to attract investments, especially that the industrial city is located at the crossroads between the center, west and south of the Kingdom.
– Saudi Gazette with agencies