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Saudi Arabia’s new industrial ‘smart city’ starts to take shape

The development of an industrial ‘smart city’ in Saudi Arabia is beginning to take shape - with those centrally involved with the innovative project announcing that it was now ready for ‘experimental operation’. The industrialized ‘smart city’ is being developed in Asfan, which is just north of Jeddah.

The public announcement on the update of the smart city was made to an assembled group of over 300 industrialists and businessmen who form the membership of both the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce (JCCI) and the Jeddah Municipal Council when they visited the site in Asfan recently.

The chairman of the company involved in the project disclosed how the first phase of the development was now completed, and revealed that works on the second phase of the industrial smart city had begun in tandem – while it was also disclosed that over 600 engineers and technicians have participated in the projects implementation.

Abdullah Al-Sahli said: “We have started working on the industrial city’s second phase. The first phase was implemented on 1.2 million sq. meters following high technical standards. The project comes within the framework of Makkah Emir Prince Khaled Al-Faisal’s vision for the development of man and place in terms of religion, culture and economy.”

Al-Sahli revealed that Jeddah Governor Prince Mishal Bin Majed had been closely monitoring the project since its inception – and he also singled out Mayor Dr. Hani Aburas for special recognition for all the support he has contributed to the project, which is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia. However, he also emphasized the need for greater engagement from the private sector in order for the goals of Vision 2030 to be realized by the Kingdom.

Speaking about the smart city’s security aspects, Al-Sahli said it’s totally monitored by cameras. “It’s also provided with fire-fighting networks and internet services,” he added.

Al-Sahli also spoke about some of the challenges and difficulties faced by his company while implementing the project. However, it was able to overcome those challenges in a record time, he said. The first phase included use of 180 cubic meters of concrete and eight million cubic meters of rock. Water and electricity connections were given covering area of 160,000 meters.

Abdul Majeed Al-Batati, chairman of the Jeddah Municipal Council, appreciated the project work, adding that it has been carried out following high standards.

“The first phase has been completed in the best way,” he added. The company announced plans to establish an institute to provide vocational training to Saudis in order to meet manpower requirements of workshops at the city.