A new international airport is also reportedly in its first phase
A large heritage tourism project – Souq Okaz City – within the Saudi Arabian city of Taif has begun construction, according to Arab News.
The newspaper reported that the complex will include heritage centers, museums, recreational areas and a convention centre and should help generate 12,000 jobs for young Saudi nationals. A further 3,000 migrant workers will also be required for a project which is one of the largest predominantly privately funded projects of its type in the Kingdom – accounting for almost 90% of its expected $2 billion cost.
Surrounding Souq Okaz City will be a new suburb capable of housing 750,000 people and a new international airport which could cope with 5 million passengers per year in its first phase. The report also suggested that a new technology hub will be built – King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology – as well as Taif University; and an industrial city.
Part of Saudi’s huge National Transformation Program, 18 projects suitable for the private sector include recreational parks, heritage villages, open markets, hotels, environmental camps, shopping malls, hospitals and medical centres, business centres, international schools, health clubs and sports facilities said Arab News.