Saudi Focus

Saudi Arabia is expected to restart work on the $26.6-billion expansion of the Grand Mosque in Makkah this month (September), nearly two years after work was stopped on the project, a Reuters report said. Saudi Binladin Group, the main contractor stopped the work in the wake of a crane collapse at the site that killed 107 people in September 2015.

De Boer Middle East has won the contract to build a high-specification semi-permanent exhibition hall at King Abdullah Economic City located close to Jeddah, a report said.

The Haramain High-Speed Rail project, also known as the Western Railway, will operate its first trip from Makkah to Madinah in January, a Saudi Gazette report said. An official for the project said the train will initially go from Makkah to Madinah with no stops in between, said the report.

Saudi Arabia is to build a new city covering an area of 2,450 sq km from Makkah to the Red Sea. Known as Al Faisaliah City, it is expected to provide 995,000 homes and accommodate 6.5 million people by 2050.

Work on the Riyadh Metro is proceeding at a steady pace and so far 57 per cent of the project is complete, Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdul Aziz, acting Riyadh governor, said. The project will enhance Riyadh’s position among the most advanced cities of the world, Prince Mohammed was quoted as saying by an Arab News report.

Saudi Aramco has signed a contract with a consortium comprising Saudi Archirodon Company and Huta Hegerfeld Saudia Company for dredging, reclamation and marine structures for King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries and Services in Ras Al Khair.

The 65-km-long Fourth Ring Road project in Makkah is 75 per cent complete, Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al Faisal has been quoted as saying. The SR9-billion ($2.4 billion) road is an integral part of the four circular road systems to facilitate smooth traffic flow, an Arab News report said.

Last of Sadara’s 26 plants launched Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara), a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and The Dow Chemical Company, last month celebrated the commissioning of the last of its 26 plants – an isocyanates section currently producing crude quantities of toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and other specialty chemicals.

Saudi Arabia is to develop a massive international tourist destination covering more than 50 virgin islands in the Red Sea. The Red Sea Project, as it is known, was launched last month by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is also the chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF).