Crown Prince Abdullah to launch Makkah development projects

by - 7:06 PM

02Nov2004 Jeddah, 2nd November 2004

Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the Deputy Premier and Commander of the National Guard, will on Sunday launch several projects worth a total of SR30 billion in Makkah, including expansion of the Haram Mosque courtyard, development of Ajyad Hospital and construction of new residential towers in Jabal Omar and Shamiya.
The Crown Prince will inspect the fifty-year development plan for Makkah prepared by the Makkah Development Authority and lay the foundation stone for the SR12 billion Jabal Omar Project. He will launch new residential and commercial projects in Jabal Khandama and Jabal Kaaba. Work has already commenced on some of these projects, Al-Riyadh newspaper reported.
The new projects are part of government efforts to boost facilities for the welfare and security of millions of pilgrims who come to the Kingdom to perform Hajj and Umrah from all countries of the world.
The projects are aimed at developing central areas of the holy city following the removal of old and dilapidated buildings. Further prayer space, accommodation for pilgrims and enhanced transport systems will be established under the various projects.
Analysts said that the projects would attract over SR40 billion in investments. Real estate sources predicted that the highest prices of land in the area would be between SR175,000 and SR250,000 per square-metre. The total area to be developed is estimated at 587,250 square-metres, with 90% comprising old buildings.
The projects include expansion of the mosque’s northern courtyard by 1.2 million square-metres. Six designs have been prepared by international companies for the expansion, which will cover the area between the mosque and the second ring road to the north, Masjidul Haram Street to the east and Jabal Al-Kaaba Street to the west.
The Jabal Omar Real Estate Project is expected to change the face of Makkah. Work on the project began in August, when the utility services of 580 buildings in the area were cut in preparation for their demolition and the construction of new residential towers designed to accommodate 100,000 people.
The Jabal Omar Project is one of the largest schemes underway to develop areas surrounding the Holy Haram. Covering an area of 230,000 square-metres, the project includes five-star hotels, commercial centres, and prayer facilities for 200,000 worshippers. The project will include 4,500 shops and 3,000 showrooms, a central transport station and parking facilities for 12,000 vehicles.
Chairman of Makkah Construction Company Abdul Rahman Faqeeh said: �The project will create a model residential and commercial centre, with new roads, pathways, tunnels, escalators, and other facilities.� Jabal Omar offers residential facilities for 100,000 people, air-conditioned prayer facilities for 100,000 and open prayer space for 120,000, he added. Faqeeh said that the project would provide 25,000 jobs for Saudi nationals.
Efforts are underway for the establishment of a joint stock company named Jabal Omar Development Company to implement the project. The company will have a capital of SR3.5 billion, including SR1.1 billion as shares of real estate owners in the area. Part of the company’s shares, worth SR850 million, will be floated for public subscription. The value of real estate to be acquired for the project is estimated at SR4.3 billion. The construction of infrastructure projects will cost SR1.2 billion, hotels and residential towers SR4.5 billion.
Referring to construction of a new road parallel to the road linking Jeddah-Makkah Expressway with Haram, Faqeeh said that the road will begin at the end of the first ring road behind Makkah Construction Company’s residential and commercial complex, pass through Jabal Omar to reach the road parallel to Umm Al-Qura Road to join the expressway. The new road will include a 1,000-metre tunnel and will pass Mawarika, Tandbawe, Jabal Ghurab, Rusaifa and Zahareen.
Saudi businessmen are expected to invest around SR3 billion to develop Shamiya area. The Makkah Development Authority will soon present a plan for development of the area and for establishment of multi-storey residential towers. A company will be formed to implement the project.


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