Saudi Arabia soon to benefit from new megacity
As the population on the planet is rapidly increasing, more megacities are starting to appear, particularly in developing countries to cater for this explosive growth.
People today want to live in urban areas and our city centres across the world are getting more and more crowded everyday and space is running out. It is expected by 2050 that seven out of every ten people on Earth will live in a city.
One of the latest megacities that is currently being built is located in Saudi Arabia costing approximately $100 billion and is expected to be the size of Washington, DC once complete. It will comprise of four major components including King Abdullah Port, Industrial Valley, The Coastal Communities and Hijaz Downtown. Located on the western coast, this city King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC, pronounced as ‘cake’) hopes to help fuel the future economy.
Its location on the western side is hoped to bring in religious tourism from Mecca and Medina as well as its main purpose to benefit from its port potential.
Saudi Arabia’s economy is largely reliant on oil, and with oil reserves running out and the price of oil getting cheaper the city needs to turn to new ways of boosting their economy such as religious tourism, helped by new rail links to reduce travel times from Jeddah to just 30 minutes which is located just 100km away.
A new container port on the Red Sea is also thought to create a new trade route between southern Europe and Mediterranean countries due to being located on one of the world’s most busiest shipping route.
KAEC is designed to house around two million residents and most of the funds for the project are from private investors. It is also hoped to help attract residents back to the kingdom who have moved away for study or working abroad and the city is to be designed for the under 30s in mind.
Currently, the city is only 15% complete and is on the edge of the desert and looks nothing like the sprawling city it is set to be. Not only will the city have public facilities and residential areas, there will be beach facilities, a financial island, industrial complex and a port. However, you will have to wait another ten years at least before the whole project is complete to see what it will really look like and if it will be a worthwhile venture.
Published on 15th of June 2015 by Marty Stanowich