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Saudi launches new company to develop downtown areas in 12 cities

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the launch of Saudi Downtown Company (SDC), which aims to build and develop downtown areas and mixed-use destinations in 12 cities throughout the kingdom.

The new company will aim to improve infrastructure and build partnerships with the private sector, by creating new opportunities in economic sectors such as retail, tourism, entertainment, and housing.

The 12 cities include Al-Madinah, Al-Khobar, Al-Ahsa, Buraidah, Najran, Jizan, Hail, Al-Baha, Arar, Taif, Dumat Al-Jandal, and Tabuk. The new company will develop over 10 million square meters of land across all projects, creating destinations drawn from Saudi Arabia’s diverse local culture and traditional architectural motifs, a statement said.

Public Investment Fund, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, aims to increase trade and investment opportunities in various cities across Saudi Arabia. The projects will help create job opportunities for local citizens, as well as localise knowledge and expertise to help entrepreneurs start and expand their businesses.

Under the five-year strategy announced by PIF last year, the wealth fund will invest a minimum of $40bn annually in domestic projects and investments, contribute $320bn to non-oil GDP cumulatively through its portfolio companies, grow assets under management to over $1.07tn, and create 1.8 million direct and indirect jobs by the end of 2025.

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PIF will focus on 13 sectors as part of its core domestic strategy: healthcare; utilities and renewables; telecoms, media and technology; food and agriculture; automotive; transport and logistics; real estate; aerospace and defense;

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia recorded $21bn in budget surplus during the second quarter, leading the world’s largest oil exporter to become this year’s fastest growing economy among the Group of 20.

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Source
gulfbusiness.com

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