Demand for Dammam
Saudi Arabia's third city taps into some of the kingdom's key needs
As Saudi Arabia’s third largest city, and an important link station between Bahrain and the kingdom, Dammam is a city that is seeing more projects focusing on the country’s key needs.
The city serves as an important trade centre for the country, with the port coming second only to Jeddah in terms of traffic. Meanwhile, the neighbouring King Fahd International Airport is the world’s largest by land area, being larger than the entire nation of Bahrain.
As a result, Dammam’s largest project will play a vital role in boosting trade, across Saudi Arabia as a whole.
The US $10 billion Saudi Landbridge project, which will be the first rail link between the Red Sea and the Gulf, includes a railway station at the Jeddah Islamic Port and another in the city that would also serve as a junction linking King Abdullah Aziz International Airport with the Makkah-Madinah line and the Dammam line.
The line will also be connected with Yanbu and Jubail. The project involves the construction of 950km of new railway tracks between Riyadh and Jeddah, and another 115km line between Dammam and Jubail.
Recent months have also seen a variety of important contracts signed in the region, tackling the undersupply of power supply and residential development in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province.
September saw South Korean contractor Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction, and its Saudi partner Bemco, sign a deal with the Saudi Electricity Company to construct a 1330MW power plant
The contract will see the company provide steam turbines and heat recovery steam generators, amongst other major elements, for the Qurayyah Combined Cycle Thermal Power Plant which is scheduled for completion in 2013.
The deal, worth US $1 billion (SR3.75 billion), could be a sign of further things to come.
“Saudi Arabia, which is suffering from serious power shortages, has ample funds thanks to recent spikes in oil prices and is aggressively pushing for the construction of new power plants. As such, we expect to win additional orders,” says Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction executive VP Dongsoo Suh.
Meanwhile, the ever-critical Saudi housing market should see a boost from a new masterplanned community to be
located between Dammam and neighbouring Khobar.
Riyadh-based developer Injaz Development announced in October that its Al Marina project had now received formal approval, and began sourcing investors and sub-developers at Cityscape Dubai.
“We are talking to institutional, as well as individual investors and potential partners who would be interested in developing and constructing hospitals, schools, malls and as residential facilities,” says Injaz managing director Omar Abdullah Al Kadi.
Al Marina will be a masterplanned community for 45,000 people on the Al-Khobar-Damman coastal corridor. Of the 3.3 million m² of land allocated to the project, 41.4% will be for residential and commercial purposes, 42.2% for public spaces and over 16% for government services.