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Investors dismayed with delays on Asfan project

Some say it will take 10 years to get the industrial city running while others state that only 10% of the work has been done so far

This image is for representational purposes only.
This image is for representational purposes only.

Saudi investors and job seekers have expressed their disappointment over the unending delay in establishing Jeddah’s fourth industrial estate in Asfan.

Investors have accused Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON) of its information blackout on the project, Saudi Gazette reported.

Citing Al Madina Arabic Daily, the newspaper said that Sami Al-Husseini, manager for marketing and corporate communications, said work on the industrial city project was progressing in phases. “We have completed designs for its industrial, housing and commercial zones.”

He also claimed that the project’s first phase, which includes construction of roads, lighting and protection against floods, have been completed.

“We have also approved a number of new projects including construction of infrastructure facilities and a compound wall,” he explained.

But members of the industrial committee at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) and some women entrepreneurs have a different story to tell.

Nasser Basahel, a member of the committee, told Al-Madina that MODON has failed to keep industrialists and investors abreast of the new industrial city project.

“The industrial city project was announced in 2012. We have not seen any substantial progress yet except the announcement that the new city was designed for women to work in an atmosphere suitable for them,” Basahel said.

“A lack of clear information about the project gives a bad impression about the city. MODON has removed all information about the project from its website as well as its signboard in Asfan,” he added.

Entrepreneur Ibrahim Al-Fahmi alleged that it would take at least 10 years to launch the new industrial city given the pace of progress of work on the ground.

“Investors have visited the region to see the progress of work. They were disappointed to see only 10% of the work completed. There is no infrastructure, electricity and paved roads. The reasons for the project’s disruption are obscure,” he explained.

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