(MENAFN - Arab News) King Abdullah Economic City and Abdul Latif Jameel Group (ALJ) have signed a contract worth SR1.2 billion for the purchase of 1.5 million sqm land in KAEC Industrial Valley phase two. It is considered to be the largest investment to take place in KAEC in terms of land area and value.
The land will be used for the construction of an import, distribution, component manufacture and assembly center, which reflects the ALJ Group's trust in KAEC as a regional hub for industry and logistics services.
The signing ceremony was attended by Saad Ateyah Al-Ghamdi, VP of ALJ Group, and Fahd Al-Rasheed, MD & CEO of KAEC.
Al-Ghamdi said: "The Kingdom is witnessing continuous economic prosperity and the automotive industry is one of the key indicators for growth. Being the oldest automotive distributor in the region adds a responsibility to develop and expand our operations to ensure business continuity and maintain the excellent quality and services standards for which ALJ is renowned. Our reason for choosing KAEC as an import and distribution center for ALJ is because King Abdullah Port (KAP) will be one of the biggest regional ports with world-class operational efficiency."
Welcoming ALJ's presence in KAEC Al-Rasheed said: "We are delighted that the ALJ Group is joining the large number of local and global companies that have chosen to invest in KAEC as the regional hub for their manufacturing and distribution operations. The importance of this strategic agreement lies in ALJ Group being one of the largest automotive companies in the Kingdom and the Middle East, which will have a significant impact on accelerating shipments at KAP."
He added: "The ALJ Group will benefit from the integrated infrastructure that the Industrial Valley is noted for. This includes KAP, which started partial operations a few months ago, and the multiple other transportation facilities that are currently available or will become operational in the near future. In addition, KAEC will host one of the Haramain Railway stations that connect with Jeddah and King Abdulaziz International Airport in less than 30 minutes and Makkah and Madinah within one hour."
KAEC is one of the largest and most important private sector initiatives in the Middle East, encompassing a total area of 168 million sqm along the coast of the Red Sea. The city consists of the Industrial Valley, King Abdullah Port, the Leisure and Commercial districts, the Haramain district, the Residential Coastal districts and the Resorts. Through its Industrial Valley, KAEC has succeeded in attracting more than 60 national and international industrial companies.
Strategically located and with KAP, KAEC offers a wide range of housing solutions that are suitably priced for different income levels. KAEC residential districts are supported by a high quality infrastructure and a complete range of services and facilities such as the World Academy School, which is already open with a future total capacity of 2,250 students, and a medical center for primary care and emergency operated by Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital Company. In addition, retail stores have been fully leased and restaurants, cafes, sales outlets and pharmacies are already open.
The ALJ Group is globally acknowledged for its single minded focus on delivering quality vehicles and service on a reliable basis to its customers in the Kingdom and for its outstanding achievements in entering and developing new markets in Europe, China and Japan.
Currently, the group is particularly interested in further developing its interests in other regions of the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. To further this aim, the group is investing in KAEC and is planning to construct supporting factories for its operation.
The ALJ Group stated that it is totally committed to quality and providing services of the highest excellence to customers in various markets. In order to create job opportunities, ALJ is also renowned for its social responsibility with a particular emphasis on the creation of jobs for young Saudi men and women among other social initiatives.
Bab Rizq Jameel, ALJ's social initiative arm dedicated for job creation, has created more than 430,000 job opportunities in the Kingdom, MENA countries and Turkey, as well as implementing other social initiatives aimed at reducing unemployment and poverty, and also initiatives supporting the arts, high class affordable medical care for the needy and education.