The multi-phase, multi-mix King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia. Launched in the middle of the last decade, the City is being built by Emaar, the Economic City. Image Credit: Supplied

The Saudi wealth fund PIF has become the major shareholder in Emaar, the Economic City in the Kingdom, picking up 25 per cent. All the regulatory approvals are in place.

PIF – or Public Investment Fund – will thus assume the SR2.8 billion ($755 million) debt that was on the Emaar, the Economic City’s books. The latter was one of the most high-profile real estate developments launched in Saudi Arabia in the last decade, and also represented a major push by Dubai-based Emaar into new markets. 

Emaar Economic City is the master-developer of King Abdullah Economic City and listed on Tadawul stock exchange. As for PIF, it has in the recent past made clear the intention to be a major investor in its home market.

King Abdullah Economic city is massive in scale - and ambition
The King Abdullah Economic City remains one of the "largest and most significant" privately-run economic projects in the world. It repurposes 185 million square metres into an integrated city by the Red Sea coast north of Jeddah.

KAEC will be a major contributor to achieving the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. It is focussed on three strategic objectives - be a global logistics and light industry Hub that includes the Industrial Valley and King Abdullah Port (KAP) - the second largest port in the Kingdom.,

It will provide a 'unique city living experience'.

It will also be a leisure and entertainment destination on the Red Sea.

The PIF deal will “accelerate” the development of King Abdullah Economic City, one of the systemically important projects in the Kingdom. In a statement, Aiman AlMudaifer, Head of PIF’s Local Real Estate Division, said: “It has the potential not only to be a win-win for PIF and EEC but also to deliver wider benefits for the broader Saudi economy in line with the aims set out in Saudi Vision 2030.

“Our investment in EEC aligns with our broader 2021-2025 strategy, which aims to build strategic economic partnerships through PIF and unlock the capabilities of promising sectors in the Kingdom, including transportation, logistics, real estate and tourism.”