Tue 30 May 2023 8:06 am - Jerusalem Time

Saudi Arabia is moving rapidly towards the post-oil future of the Gulf and the Arab world

After the 32nd Arab Summit, which was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Information organized for media delegations a tour of King Abdullah Economic City, which is considered one of the most modern and developed industrial zones in the Arab world, especially since it was built on the Red Sea in a way It is technically, technically and scientifically advanced, and its ports are provided with the latest modern technologies in the world.

During the duration of the trip, which took about an hour from Jeddah to King Abdullah Economic City, our escort, Raghad Al-Hazmi, spoke about the level of renaissance that the Kingdom witnessed under the auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has accumulated remarkable successes. And how Saudi Arabia made great and wide efforts and harnessed all its energies and capabilities for Arab reunification before the Arab summit in Jeddah, and was able through it to achieve the return of Syria to the Arab League and to emphasize the centrality of the Palestinian issue as the first Arab issue, and the importance of resolving it according to the Arab initiative for peace and the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Our guide during our tour in King Abdullah Economic City, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Shammari, said about the ambitious action plan "Vision 2030" that was developed and supervised by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as "a comprehensive economic, social, cultural, political plan for Saudi Arabia, which establishes the Kingdom's entry into an era." After oil," pointing out that the "vision" coincides with the date set for announcing the completion of eighty giant government projects, such as the construction of the city of Neom or Qiddiya, the Diriyah Gate, in addition to offering part of the giant Aramco company for public subscription.

He added: The goal is to increase non-oil revenues, push investment inside Saudi Arabia to create more job opportunities and jobs, and push the Saudi economy towards double growth, indicating that the Saudi vision is based on three pillars, namely:
The first: is that Saudi Arabia is the Arab and Islamic depth, as there is the Grand Mosque in Makkah Al-Mukarramah, and the Prophet’s Mosque in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, which are considered the most important holy places for Muslims, and thus it is the qiblah of more than 2 billion Muslims on the face of the earth, and the vision must be based on this factor; Because it has a spiritual effect.

The second: The Kingdom's huge investment capabilities, which should be an engine for the Kingdom's economy and an additional resource for it, and with these capabilities, the vision aims to make Saudi Arabia a leading investment power, and we see this clearly in the investments of the Saudi Sovereign Fund (Public Investment Fund).

Third: The strategic geographical location of Saudi Arabia, and the important water crossings surrounding it - the Strait of Hormuz in the east, the Bab al-Mandab Strait in the southwest, the Suez Canal in the northwest - make the Kingdom the most important gateway to the world as a linking center for the three continents. The concept of geopolitics or geopolitics is a term that applies primarily to the influence of geography on politics, but it has evolved to be used over the past century to include broader connotations. It traditionally refers to the causal links and relationships between political power and geographical space, in specific terms. Therefore, this concept has become one of the factors of strength and influence in international relations.

Professor Ali Al-Hafzi from the Saudi Ministry of Information drew attention to the future Saudi economic perceptions at the Gulf, Arab and international levels, in light of the policy of “zeroing” political differences, especially with Iran. He said that politics and economics are two sides of the same coin, and that strengthening the political situation requires advancing the economic situation, which is what is happening .

Amal Al-Rashed, who was the main spokeswoman for King Abdullah Economic City, indicated that the cost of the city amounted to 100 billion dollars. City planning and development.

She explained that the industrial city is a new Saudi city of an economic nature. Its establishment was announced by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, in 2005. It is located in Rabigh Governorate, in the Makkah Al-Mukarramah Region. It is part of the 10X10 program that aims to place the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia among the top ten in the world. The most attractive and competitive investment.
Al-Rashed drew attention to the strategic location of King Abdullah Economic City, noting that it is based on an area of 173 square kilometers, and is located along the Red Sea coast (about 100 km north of Jeddah), about an hour's drive from the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

The city is divided into six main elements: the industrial area, the sea port, the residential areas, the sea resort, the educational city, and the central business district that includes the financial island.

She said that the first phase of the city was completed in 2010 AD, while the whole city will be completed by 2030 AD. According to the plan, the city will seek to diversify the oil-dependent economy by bringing direct foreign and domestic investments, and the city will help create up to one million job opportunities for Saudi youth.

Al-Rashed confirmed that the port is the largest port in the Middle East and among the largest ports in the world with an area of 2.5 million square meters.

She explained that it will be a link between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the world on the one hand, and a link between Asia, Africa and Europe on the other hand, as it represents an additional station on the Red Sea, at which goods shipped between the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean stop.

The port is characterized by being equipped with means of tracking ships via satellite and many modern means. The port will receive pilgrims annually, and it will be able to accommodate 300,000 pilgrims annually on their way to Makkah and Madinah.

According to an official in the industry and services sector in King Abdullah Economic City, the total industrial land in the city amounts to about 8 million square meters, most of which are concentrated on pharmaceutical and food factories.

Al-Rashed explained that the industrial complex and the industrial zone include the first phase of it with a built-up area of 6.24 million square meters, as it also contains laboratories for research and development.

She said that the completion rate in the city reached 30% in terms of infrastructure. According to the city administration, the city's own capital is not relied upon for its development, but there are efforts to attract investors to develop it.

There is a strategy to establish a tourist destination within the Economic City, in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.
She pointed out that the city includes 5 residential neighborhoods, and the figures estimate that the number of permanent residents in the city will be half a million people, in addition to visitors.

And she said that in the year 2019 AD, Al-Morouj neighborhood won the award for the best mixed-use residential neighborhood in the Arab region.

King Abdullah Economic City also includes a large group of residential units, such as villas, apartments and hotels, many green spaces, and a plan for two huge towers.

She added: “The city has become one of the most important tourist destinations in the Kingdom, due to the entertainment and sports activities it contains, as many international tournaments are held in various sports fields, such as golf and motor racing, as the city includes one of the most famous golf clubs in the Middle East, In addition to the large waterfront of the city, where various types of water sports can be practiced throughout the year.

Mr. Ali explained that the "Sir" company signed the first Saudi brand for the manufacture of electric cars in the Kingdom, and an agreement with Emaar, the Economic City Company, to purchase land worth 359 million riyals in King Abdullah Economic City to use it to establish an electric car manufacturing facility on an area of more than one million square meters. A square in the Industrial Valley, near King Abdullah Port. Once the construction works are completed, the factory will provide thousands of direct and indirect jobs, most of which will be allocated to local competencies.

He said: Sir Company - a joint venture between the Public Investment Fund and Foxconn - intends to manufacture a variety of sedans and SUVs with advanced technologies, provided that actual production begins in 2025 at Sir's facility in King Abdullah Economic City.

Al-Hafzi concluded with the statements of CEO of Sir James DeLuca, in which he said, “We found in King Abdullah Economic City a place that meets all our needs, as the city enjoys a strategic location and world-class logistical services, with effective access to our local and international suppliers, and the location is ideal for establishing and developing our cadres.” Therefore, the city will embrace our factory, where we are working to establish the first Saudi brand for the electric vehicle industry in the Kingdom and the region in general, thus contributing effectively to achieving the goals of Vision 2030.


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Saudi Arabia is moving rapidly towards the post-oil future of the Gulf and the Arab world