Jeddah — The Bride of the Red Sea will have a significant facelift to dismantle and develop slums and undeveloped neighborhoods. The development will add four notable landmarks to Jeddah, an opera house, a museum, a sports stadium, and an oceanarium.
According to Saleh Al-Turki, mayor of Jeddah, the city has over 60 undeveloped neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods, including Gulail, were dismantled for development and power, and other utility services of other neighborhoods were disconnected earlier this week before the demolition of the buildings therein.
The currently under demolition neighborhoods include Kandara and Hindawiya. The mayoralty served notices to the inhabitants some three months back to evacuate all residential and office buildings in these neighborhoods. However, although the decisions to this effect were made several years ago, last November, the mayoralty announced the completion of a draft scheme to develop slums in 32 neighborhoods with an area of more than 214 million square meters.
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Interestingly, only 24 million square meters of these areas have bona fide ownership documents and title deeds. In 2020, Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing Majed Al-Hoqail announced a mechanism to develop slums across the Kingdom and established an administrative unit, Central Regions Development Department, for the purpose.
Central Regions Development Department is responsible for developing slums, setting controls, standards, guidelines, and a general policy with active community participation and partnership to ensure the project’s success.
While addressing Makkah Economic Forum in 2019, Jeddah Mayor Saleh Al-Turki said, “The mayoralty’s focus is to extend excellent services as quickly as possible with developing neighborhoods lacking services, to achieve the goals of Vision 2030. The mayoralty has set targets and indicators for improving the quality of life,” he said, referring to the failed experiment of developing Ruwais neighborhood and Khuzam Palace.
Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, who is also chairman of the Board of Directors of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Jeddah Central Development Company, launched on Dec. 17 the master plan of the Jeddah Central Project, previously known as New Jeddah Downtown.
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The ambitious SR75 billion project will develop 5.7 million square meters of land overlooking the Red Sea and is financed by PIF local and international investors. The project will strengthen the city’s economy and create a world-class destination overlooking the Red Sea in the heart of Jeddah. The ambitious project will add SR47 billion in value for the Kingdom’s economy by 2030.