Knowledge Economic City’s progress outlined

JEDDAH: King Abdullah Economic City and other new economic cities in Saudi Arabia are envisioned to be catalysts for the Kingdom’s all round development.Among the most important ones is Knowledge Economic City (KEC), which is leveraging its participation at Cityscape Jeddah to highlight the phase one components of the first residential community in Madinah, and the progress it is making in its efforts to cater for the increased demand of the rising population of the Kingdom’s fourth largest city.“Knowledge Economic City is aimed to serve Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification strategy through reviving Madinah’s role as a center for Islamic knowledge and culture,” Sami Baroum, chairman of KEC, said in his presentation explaining the project’s components, progress, and future plans at a session on the second day of Cityscape Jeddah Conference at the Jeddah Center for Forums and Events on Sunday.KEC will play a crucial role in transforming Saudi Arabia into a global force in knowledge-based industry, he said, adding that the KEC, situated to the east of Madinah, will be a cultural landmark for visitors and a national center for knowledge-based industries.Designed in a classic Islamic style, this will be a city of unique character and heritage.Its development will complement the work of the King Abdullah Foundation, creating an alternative central business district for Madinah with improved facilities and infrastructure and a superior urban environment.As well as being a cultural destination, it will be a draw for tourists who will enjoy a raft of exciting facilities including a theme park, world-class hospitality and outstanding retail.

KEC plans to create 20,000 jobs in its new industrial, academic, cultural and commercial sectors.It will benefit from strong growth in the local economy, supported by the upgrade to international status of the Prince Mohammed Bin AbdulAziz Airport and the expansion of the Madinah Central Zone.KEC boasts a number of complementary elements including Taiba Complex for technology and knowledge-based economy, technological and administrative colleges, Islamic Civilization Studies Center that will be a hub of intellectual activity, a Business Center in the heart of the city, and a network of transportation facilities planned to connect the city to the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah and to other major economic centers in the country.A central transportation station will connect the city with the airport and the city with Makkah, Yanbu, King Abdullah Economic City and Jeddah. Both tourism and commerce will be supported by planned commercial complexes, residential and hospitality facilities, a theme park and a mosque. – Arabnews