Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Richest Arabs 2010

Each year ArabianBusiness.com publishes their World's Richest Arabs list. They do a great job and I like to publish the list on this blog because many of these Super Rich Arabs are directly or indirectly involved with the Mega Projects of the Middle East.


1. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, $20.4 Bil, Saudi Arabia
2. Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, $12 Bil, Saudi Arabia
3. Olayan Family, $11.9 Bil, Saudi Arabia
4. Mohammad Al Amoudi, $10 Bil, Saudi Arabia
5. Issam Alzahid, $10 Bil, Saudi Arabia
6. Bin Ladin Family, $9.8 Bil, Saudi Arabia
7. Nasser Al Kharafi, $8.2 Bil, Kuwait
8. Said Khoury, $7 Bil, Palestine
9. Bugshan Family, $7 Bil, Saudi Arabia
10. Al Ghurair Family, $6.52 Bil, UAE
11. Alshaya Family, $6.5 Bil, Kuwait
12. Al Jaffali Family, $6.2 Bil, Saudi Arabia
13. Kanoo Family, $6.1 Bil, Bahrain
14. Tarek Abdulla Al Quahtani, $6 Bil, Saudi Arabia
15. Mubarak Al Suwaiket, $5.2 Bil, Saudi Arabia
16. Mohamed Abdul Latif Jameel $5.1 Bil, Saudi Arabia
17. Abdullah Al Futtaim, $5.06 Bil, UAE
18. Naghi Family, $5 Bil, Saudi Arabia
19. Majid Al Futtaim, $4.9 Bil, UAE
20. Sulaiman Abdulaziz Al Rajhi, $4.57 Bil, Saudi Arabia
21. Abdullah Al Rushaid, $4.55 Bil, Saudi Arabia
22. Omar Hamad Almana, $4.5 Bil, Qatar
23. Mohammed Sharbatly, $4.1 Bil, Saudi Arabia
24. Mohammad Kamal Jamjoom, $4.02 Bil, Saudi Arabia
25. Bukhamseen Family, $4 Bil, Kuwait
26. Gargash Family, $3.71 Bil, UAE
27. Saad Hariri, $3.7 Bil, Saudi Arabia
28. Sawiris Family, $3.55 Bil, Egypt
29. Ahmed Saleh Baeshen, $3.5 Bil, Saudi Arabia
30. Faisal Al Ayyar, $3.4 Bil, Kuwait
31. Abdullah Bin Saleh Al Othaim, $3.28 Bil, Saudi Arabia
32. Abdullatif Al Fozan, $3.26 Bil, Saudi Arabia
33. Saedan Family, $3.22 Bil, Saudi Arabia
34. Abdulaziz Al Sulaiman, $3.2 Bil, Saudi Arabia
35. Nadhmi Auchi, $3.18 Bil, Iraq
36. Hussein Bakry Gazzaz, $3.17 Bil, Saudi Arabia
37. Osama Ismail Ali Abudawood, $3.1 Bil, Saudi Arabia
38. Mohammed Elkhereiji, $3 Bil, Saudi Arabia
39. Bahaa Hariri, $3 Bil, Saudi Arabia
40. Adel Aujan, $2.9 Bil, Saudi Arabia
41. Al Zamil Family, $2.8 Bil, Saudi Arabia
42. Mansour Ojjey, $2.7 Bil, Saudi Arabia
43. Robert Mouawad, $2.5 Bil, Lebanon
44. Ayman Hariri, $2.4 Bil, Saudi Arabia
45. Issam Fares, $2.4 Bil, Lebanon
46. Mohammad Shafik Gabr, $2.1 Bil, Egypt
47. Abdul Moshen Al Hokair, $2 Bil, Saudi Arabia
48. Ahmed and Hassan Heikal, $1.78 Bil, Egypt
49. Mohammed Alesayi, $1.7 Bil, Saudi Arabia

One thing that really stands out on the list is that Saudi Arabia has many, many more Super Rich Arabs than any other country in the Middle East!



Sunday, November 21, 2010

Al Reef Villas, Abu Dhabi

The Al Reef Villas project developed by Manazel Real Estate of Abu Dhabi has become quite popular. Why? Because it offers affordable quality living in Abu Dhabi. As Manazal says: 'The first planned community in the UAE exclusively for the middle income tier of the population, it provides an environment of style and sophistication, with a range of exciting lifestyle options that integrate living, shopping and relaxing - all in one location.' I think this is fantastic-- high quality living AND affordable AND in Abu Dhabi!

Al Reef is divided into 4 different themed communities each with its own style of Villas:

> Arabic Community. 'Villas in the Arabic Community are inspired by regional motifs, applying the art of simplicity and moderation. Rooftop terraces offer the chance to enjoy a traditional Arabian sunset and give your gatherings the unique flavor of the local culture while surrounded by timber pergolas and handrails. The Middle East has never been as vivid as in your own Arabic Villa,' according to Manazal.

> Desert Community. Villas in the Desert Community are built on the singular tradition of desert homes, with monolithic building massing, textured wall finishes, and simple color tones. Open spaces on rooftops connect with landscaped areas, while living rooms open up onto private gardens.

> Contemporary Community. These Villas are very modern structures with clean geometric lines and carefully considered proportions all coming together to create a modern look appealing to today's modern lifestyle.

> Mediterranean Community. Villas in the Mediterranean Community integrate indoor and outdoor spaces to enable maximum enjoyment of the terrace and garden areas, which are central to the Mediterranean lifestyle. The arched openings, molding-framed windows, and timber shutters are assembled into a sophisticated architectural composition that is reminiscent of cultures that have developed on the edges of the sea.

Also part of the project is Al Reef Downtown. This area contains 46 apartment buildings offering studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. Amenities include outdoor balconies, private ground floor courtyards, 24-hour security services, resort style swimming pools, state of the art gymnasiums, secure children's play areas and dedicated parking facilities.

In addition, Al Reef Downtown contains a complete Town Square featuring retail, commercial and community facilities including:

- Luxury Hotel,
- Supermarkets,
- Malls,
- Shops of all kinds,
- Restaurants and Cafes,
- Health Clubs,
- Medical Centers,
- Schools,
- Mosques.

"The Al Reef development will be a master development encompassing a whole new community, with all the necessary facilities and services for its citizens. Residents will enjoy the nearby shopping malls, supermarkets, outdoor markets, dedicated community services and many recreation areas," said Mohammed Al Qubaisi, Chairman of Manazal Real Estate.

Al Reef Villas is truly a top notch Mega Project that brings affordable first class Abu Dhabi living to everyone.

This link takes you to the Al Reef Villas website:


Friday, October 15, 2010

Sowwah Island, Abu Dhabi

Sowwah Island is yet another of the great Abu Dhabi Island Mega Projects. Others include Reem Island, YAS Island and Saadiyat Island. Sowwah Island is a 114 hectare mixed use Mega Project being developed by Mubadala that will become Abu Dhabi's Central Business District. The island is being developed in 3 phases. Sowwah Island occupies a unique location between Abu Dhabi's existing downtown district as well as Reem Island, Mina Zayed and Saadiyat Island. Due to this fantastic location Sowwah Island becomes a natural hub for Abu Dhabi-- a vibrant core combined with landmark architecture seamlessly integrated into the fabric of the city by state of the art multi-tiered transport infrastructure.

Phase 1 of Sowwah Island, Sowwah Square, will be the center of the entire project. Launched in the summer of 2007 and with its first phase to be completed next year, Sowwah Island's four office towers and multiple 5-star hotels flank the capital's new Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) building, in a striking waterfront grouping that creates a strong business and hospitality hub for the island.

Four 30 to 36 storey landmark office towers will provide 180,000 sqm of high quality office space and about 37,000 sqm of retail and F&B space beneath the central square. Two 5-star luxury and business hotels, Rosewood Abu Dhabi and Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi, will overlook the water on either side of the distinctive new headquarters building of the ADX. The Rosewood will be 34 storeys and will consist of 6 luxury penthouses, 189 guest rooms and 131 serviced apartments. The hotel will also feature 20,000 sqm of meeting spaces, a business center, extensive amenities and retail spaces. The Four Seasons will offer 190 deluxe rooms and 125 apartments as well as a rooftop pool and garden. Conference and meeting facilities and a variety of high end restaurants will also be part of the hotel.

A 364 bed multi-speciality hospital, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, is also being built on Sowwah Island and will be located next to Sowwah Square. The hospital will be a center for healthcare excellence in the region and will attract patients from all over the region and all over the globe. Clinic specialities will include cardiac and vascular medicine, neurology, respiratory and critical care, gastroenterology and ophthalmology.

Phase 2 of Sowwah Island will develop the southern and central part of the island with mixed use residential and commercial buildings with a strong focus on community facilities, public open spaces and landscaped parks. Phase 3 of Sowwah Island has not yet been revealed by the developer.

A working population of more than 12,000 in the towers will bring the area to life in the open spaces and waterfront promenades of Sowwah Square's landscaped public areas designed by one of America's leading landscape architects, Martha Schwartz. In the evening the multi-layered transport network will connect the Square's retail and entertainment outlets to the city in it entirety.

The presence of such a high profile anchor tenant like the ADX is an indication of how important Sowwah Square is to the blue chip institutions of the region. Mubadala, the developer of Sowwah Island, has a goal of creating a development that will be home to leading businesses from all over the world.

Large investors in Sowwah Island include The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and Al Hilal Bank. They have taken up the first two of twelve plots available in Sowwah Island's first phase. The banks will each be building an office tower. The other ten plots are at an advanced stage of negotiation.

I think Sowwah Island will be one of the most important of the Abu Dhabi Mega Projects. This is because Sowwah will be the primary business center for Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi is one of the most oil rich and cash rich regions on the planet. Thus a state of the art business district is primary for Abu Dhabi's continued development and expansion.

Here is a link to Mubadala, the developer of Sowwah Island:


Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Mega Architects, Part 2

In this post I will give you the remaining ten top architects in the GCC. Last post we covered numbers one through ten and now I will cover numbers eleven to twenty.

11. Broadway Malyan. 30 staff in Middle East.

Broadway Malyan projects:

-- Al-Bandar, Al Raha Beach
-- Mina Zayed Masterplan
-- Al Khubeira
-- The Diamond
-- Commercial City Dubai

12. PRP/AI Architects. 22 staff in Middle East.

PRP projects:

-- Masdar City
-- Maqta Waterfront
-- The Park
-- Al Ain Boulevard
-- The Gateway Abu Dhabi

13. Gensler. 16 staff in Middle East.

Gensler projects:

-- Shamiya, Makkah
-- Ritz Carlton, DIFC
-- Tameer Towers
-- The Avenues, Phase 3
-- Currency House

14. BDP. 15 staff in Middle East.

BDP projects:

-- Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort
-- Danat Resort Jebel Dhanna
-- Radisson SAS Jumeirah Beach Hotel Dubai

15. Benoy. 14 staff in Middle East.

Benoy projects:

-- Al Seef, Al Raha Beach
-- Al Areen Master Plan
-- YAS Island Masterplan

16. RTKL. 13 staff in Middle East.

RTKL projects:

-- Kuwait 360
-- Bahrain City Centre
-- Mirdif City Centre
-- Baraya
-- Lionfish Islands Bahrain

17. FX Fowle Architects. 10 staff in Middle East.

FX projects:

-- Bonyan Business Bay
-- Meydan City Towers
-- Madinat Al Arab Twin Towers
-- King Abdullah Financial District
-- Gateway at Business Bay

18. Callison. 8 staff in Middle East.

Callison projects:

-- Pearl Qatar
-- Bloomingdale's Dubai
-- Harvey Nichols Dubai
-- Deira City Centre
-- Landmark Home Centre

19. HKS Inc. 3 staff in Middle East.

HKS projects:

-- Dubai Maritime Centre Hotel & Residences
-- Abu Dhabi Financial Centre Hotel & Residences
-- Four Seasons Sharm El-Sheikh

20. Nikken Sekkei. 3 staff in Middle East.

Nikken Sekkei projects:

-- Burj Al-Alam Business Bay
-- Ajmakan
-- Landmark Tower
-- Creek Towers & Plaza
-- Andalusia Gardens Jeddah

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Mega Architects: The Top Architects Behind the Mega Projects, Part 1

We have covered many great Mega Projects in this blog, and will continue to do so. We have also covered many of the the top developers and Sovereign Wealth Funds. In this post and the next I want to cover the top architects in the GCC. These are the architects behind the many Mega Projects being built and planned. They are vitally important and deserve some coverage in this blog. I will list the architectural firm followed by some of the leading projects of that firm.

1. Atkins. Over 2,000 staff in the Middle East and the largest architectural firm in the GCC.

Atkins projects:

-- Burj Al Arab
-- Dubai Metro
-- DIFC Lighthouse Tower
-- Durrat Al-Bahrain
-- Bahrain World Trade Centre
-- Bahrain International Airport
-- Al Mas Tower

2. Keo International. Over 1,800 staff in Middle East.

Keo projects:

-- Lusail
-- Barwa Financial Centre
-- Al Reem Mall
-- Carina Views, Reem Island
-- South of Shamkha
-- Al-Othman Complex

3. RMJM. 276 staff in Middle East.

RMJM projects:

-- Capital Gate Tower
-- Aviation Club Hotel @ Dubai Creek
-- American International School of Doha
-- ADNEC Convention Centre

4. Dewan Architects & Engineers. 220 staff in Middle East.

Dewan projects:

-- United Square
-- YAS Hotel
-- Media One Tower
-- Green Community
-- Vision Tower

5. Burt Hill. 213 staff in Middle East.

Burt Hill projects:

-- Al Mafraq Hospital
-- ADEC Headquarters
-- Motor City Dubai
-- Al Aqr Resort
-- Al Wurai'ah Valley

6. Godwin Austen Johnson. 175 staff in Middle East.

Godwin Austen Johnson projects:

-- Business Bay Hotel
-- Deira Hotel
-- Dubai Creek Golf Club
-- Bab Al Shams Desert Resort
-- Al Barari

7. AEDAS. 168 staff in Middle East.

AEDAS projects:

-- U-Bora Towers
-- Empire Tower
-- ADIC Headquarters
-- Pentominium

8. Woods Bagot. 120 staff in Middle East.

Woods Bagot projects:

-- Nakheel Harbour & Tower
-- Saadiyat St. Regis Beach Resort
-- Bahrain City Centre Mall
-- Al Jaidha
-- Saudi Arabia Bank HQ

9. P&T Architects & Engineers. 85 staff in Middle East.

P&T projects:

-- Al Dana @ Al Raha Beach
-- Burj Rafal
-- Kensington Krystal
-- City of Arabia Resort Hotel
-- Ajman Corniche Residences

10. HOK. 65 staff in Middle East.

HOK projects:

-- King Abdullah University for Science & Technology
-- New Doha International Airport
-- Al Ain Master Plan

In my next post I will cover another ten of the top architects in the GCC.

Monday, July 12, 2010

GCC Current Projects Under Construction-- Part 2: Qatar & Bahrain

In this post I will list the top projects currently under construction in Qatar and Bahrain. This is a continuation of my previous post which covered the UAE.


> Barwa City
> World Trade Centre Doha
> New Doha International Airport
> Doha Expressway
> Al Khor Medical Training Centre
> Qatar National Museum
> Education City Islamic Studies Centre
> Musheireb Development
> Habara Centre Rawdat Al Faras
> Al Kor Park
> Bin Hajr Road Development
> Al Waab City Development
> Bridge Tower
> Barwa Financial District
> Qatari Jetty Umm Bab
> Ras Laffan Port Expansion
> Perlita Gardens
> Qatar National Bank Headquarters
> Piazza Development
> Islamic Centre Ain Khalid
> Qatar Silhouette Tower
> Energy City Residences
> Al Shaqab Equestrian Academy
> Ain Khaled Commercial Avenue
> The St. Regis Doha
> The Gate Development
> Al Majed Tower
> Al-Ruwais Port Development
> Education City Foreign Affairs College
> Dubai-Doha Tower
> Al Wakerah Housing Development
> Al Wakra Hospital
> Sidra Medical and Research Centre
> Doha Airport Rotana Hotel
> New HQ for Ministry of Municipality & Urban Planning
> Al Jaber Mixed Use Tower Doha Corniche
> Qatar Entertainment City
> Mesaieed Port Expansion
> Doha Convention Centre and Tower
> Barwa Al Barha Development
> Lusail
> Qatar Bahrain Causeway
> The Pearl Qatar
> Barwa Al Khor Urjuan Development


> Bahrain Financial Harbour
> Amwaj Islands
> Riffa Views
> Bahrain Bay
> Villamar Towers
> Durrat Al Bahrain
> Future-Bank Headquarters Seef District
> Marina West
> King Hamad General Hospital
> Plaza and Play Yard
> Bahrain Investment Wharf

Sunday, June 6, 2010

GCC Current Projects Under Construction-- Part 1: UAE

In this post I will list the top projects currently under construction in the UAE. Then in one or two posts that will follow I will list the top projects under construction in the rest of the GCC: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman. From these posts you will get a very good idea of the projects ACTUALLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION in the GCC. There have been so many projects put on hold or cancelled that it is time to go over the projects that are actually getting built.


> Al Mafraq Hospital
> Al Ain Convention Centre District
> Al Bateen Wharf Hotel
> New ADIC Headquarters Complex
> Dubai Mixed Use Towers/ Dancing Sisters Towers
> Shamkha South Development
> Al Markaz Development
> Abu Dhabi Airport Expansion- Midfield Terminal Complex
> Sheikh Zayed Bridge Abu Dhabi
> Regent Emirates Pearl Hotel
> Khalifa Bin Zayed National Stadium
> Nurai Island Resort
> Vopak Horizon Fujairah Oil Terminal Expansion
> UAE Rail Network
> Al Wahda Street Development Sharjah
> Princess Tower
> Onyx Towers
> Gemini Tower
> Pentominium Tower
> Burj Al Alam
> Marfraq - Ghweifat International Highway
> New ADNOC Headquarters Complex
> Al Falah Development Abu Dhabi
> Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone
> Hassyan Power and Desalination Station
> Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort & Spa
> Bab Al-Qasr Hotel Abu Dhabi
> 23 Marina Tower
> Al Khail Road Phase 2
> Al Khail Road Phase 3
> Al Maktoum International Airport
> City of Arabia
> Mohammed Bin Zayed City Development
> Al Raha Beach Development
> Village Centre Development Palm Jumeirah
> Dubai International Airport Concourse 3
> Sowwah Square Development Abu Dhabi
> Al-Bustan Mixed Use Development
> Dubai Sports City
> Hydra Village
> Abu Dhabi Sorbonne University
> Dubai Ocean Heights
> Zayed University- New Campus
> Emirates Industrial City Sharjah
> Ajman Uptown
> Ajman International Airport
> Arzanah Development
> Dubai Metro
> Tiger Woods Dubai Development
> Salam Street & Mina Road Development- Phase 1
> Dubai Maritime City
> ADNEC Capital Centre Development
> Pearl Dubai
> Ajman Marina
> Tameer Towers
> Landmark Tower Abu Dhabi
> Shams Abu Dhabi
> Saadiyat Island
> YAS Island
> Al Reem Island
> Al Lulu Island
> Gulf Hotel & Resort
> Etihad Towers Development
> Al Furjan Development
> Capital Plaza Development Abu Dhabi
> Abu Dhabi Central Market
> Marina Wharf 1 & 2
> Novotel Barsha
> U-Bora Tower
> SEBA Tower
> Jumeirah Towers
> Centro Hotel Abu Dhabi
> P17 Tower
> Suburbia Development
> Movenpick Deira and Center Residence
> Lincoln Park Arjan
> Marina Bay
> Harbour Heights
> Water's Edge Tower
> Commercial Square
> Lakeside Towers
> Burjside Boulevard
> Park Central
> Executive Bay
> Laguna Tower Dubai
> Royal Amwaj Palm Jumeirah
> The Cube
> Cambridge Business Centre
> KPM Tower
> IPIC Headquarters Abu Dhabi
> Falcon Crest Tower
> Dynasty Tower
> Juman Tower
> The Beach Towers
> Dubai Lagoon Zone 1 & 2
> Nation Towers Abu Dhabi
> Jumeirah Heights
> Silverene Towers
> DAMAC Heights
> Summit Tower
> Park Towers DIFC
> Infinity Tower

A note about accuracy. I have tried to be as accurate as possible with this list however it is possible with all the construction activity going on in the UAE that I have overlooked some projects and not listed others that I felt were not as important as those listed above.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Will These Mega Projects Ever Be Built?

In this post I am going to cover some great Mega Projects that had huge potential but due to the world economic collapse were "put on hold." Will they ever get built?

> Nakheel Tower. This was to be a new tower that would be much taller than Burj Khalifa. It would be the tallest building in the world and the centerpiece of the gigantic Dubai Waterfront project. Alas, the Dubai Waterfront has been cut back to almost nothing and Nakheel Tower is now on hold. I think it will be a long time before this tower gets built.

> Dubai City Tower. Yet another amazing tower that was to be even taller than Nakheel Tower. In fact Dubai City Tower was to be 1.5 to 2 miles high depending on who you listened to. This tower was planned to be so huge that it would be home to an entire city, a "vertical city." Dubai City Tower was to be the crown jewel of the gigantic Jumeirah Garden City project being developed by Meraas Development of Dubai. I hope they someday get this one built but I think it will be a very long time if ever.

> Hydropolis. This project was slated as a hotel that would be built underwater. It is an amazing idea and I actually think this one will be built. It would be another "world's first" for Dubai and would be on the front page of every newspaper in the world. Hydropolis can be built if enough money is allocated and I think it would be a big winner and a great attraction for Dubai.

> Trump Tower Palm Jumeirah. This mixed use tower was to be the iconic development of Palm Jumeirah. It was to be 62 storeys high with 300 hotel rooms and 360 apartments. The architecture and design of the project is truly fantastic. In May 2009 the project was put on hold and Donald Trump Jr. has said that Trump Tower Palm Jumeirah could start up again in 2 years. I think this one will eventually get built. The Trump name is great for Dubai and the tower itself will contribute greatly to the overall development of Palm Jumeirah.

> 1 Dubai. This project was to be the centerpiece of Jumeirah Garden City. The project consists of 3 towers connected by sky bridges and would have reached 600 meters at its highest point. 1 Dubai was to contain a hotel, as well as residential, commercial, retail and entertainment venues. I don't think we will see this one get done.

> Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard. An entire boulevard in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah was planned around Bollywood legend Shah Rukh Khan who stated "I intend to share and transfer my passion for design and living spaces into this world class community that residents will be proud of." The development would have contained 10 towers on RAK's Dana Island. I think things will have to get much, much better to ever get this one built.

> Dynamic Tower. This tower got huge amounts of publicity all over the world. Each floor of this 80 storey tower would rotate on its own to create an ever changing building structure. The tower, which was to be built in Dubai, was designed by David Fisher who gave interviews all over the world about this unique project. I predict that Dynamic Tower will eventually get built in Dubai and be a booming success.

> Chess City. Another truly unique and amazing Mega Project planned for Dubai. The project was to contain 32 buildings each shaped like a chess piece. The city was to become the global center for the game of chess and be home to the International Chess Association. Chess City would also contain 7-Star hotels, residential units, entertainment centers and just about everything imaginable related to chess. This one is an interesting idea but I doubt it will ever get built.

I have covered some of the most interesting Mega Projects currently on hold. Time will tell what the future holds for these amazing projects!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Ten Top Abu Dhabi Mega Projects

Abu Dhabi continues to rapidly expand despite the global slowdown. The Emirate is developing a great number of Mega Projects. Many of these, such as Reem Island and YAS Island, I have already covered. Here are 10 top Abu Dhabi Mega Projects you may not have heard of yet!

1. Ghantoot Green City. This $10 Billion Mega Project is a mixed use development that includes the creation of an entire city with residential developments, hotels, office buildings and light industrial areas.

2. Taweelah Aluminum Smelter. This is a gigantic industrial complex with a construction cost of $10 Billion that will be built in two phases. Phase 1 will be completed this year followed by phase 2 sometime in 2011 or 2012. Once completed the project will produce 1.4 million tons of aluminum each year.

3. Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone. The port will be a multi purpose facility that will contain a global scale container and industrial port in addition to logistics, commercial, residential, educational and industrial free zones. Phase 1 of the project should be finished this year and the total cost of this project is estimated at $5 Billion.

4. Alghadeer. A $4 Billion mega residential project that is located right on the Abu Dhabi / Dubai border. Alghadeer is being developed by Sorouh and will contain over 6,000 homes in 6 different villages. This project has one of the best overall locations I have seen giving residents easy access to both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Alghadeer will also contain schools, retail shops, parks, movie theaters, recreational facilities, etc.

5. Mafraq / Ghweifat International Highway. This highway will be 327km long and will link Mafraq to the border post with Saudi Arabia, at Ghweifat, in the western part of Abu Dhabi. The highway will be expanded to 8 lanes up to the Al Ruwais junction, and 6 lanes to the Saudi border. Estimated cost is $2.7 Billion.

6. Al Gharbia Housing Renovation. This project consists of the renovation of approximately 3,320 traditional homes located in Al Gharbia Municipality. The renovation is designed to improve the quality of life of the residents in this area and will cost $1.1 Billion.

7. Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort & Spa. A 5-Star luxury development being built in the Liwa Desert. The project is huge with a total built up area of 53,000m2. Qasr Al Sarab will contain a five star hotel, a luxury health spa and a conference center at a total cost of $370 Million. As Abu Dhabi continues to attract more tourists you will see more and more of these kinds of projects going up.

8. Al Ain Oasis. A mixed use project being developed in the Al Ain area of Abu Dhabi. The project will feature both residential and office units. It will also contain plazas and streets lined with retail shops and art galleries as well as cafes and a wide variety of restaurants. A hotel is also planned to attract more tourists. Total cost of the project is $136 Million.

9. Mirfa Air Separation Unit. Two new air separation plants that will supply nitrogen for injection into the onshore condensate field in Habshan. The two plants will have a total nitrogen capacity of 670,000 standard cubic meters per hour and cost $100 Million to build.

10. Al Gharbia Parks. This $78 Million Mega Project will create over one million square meters of parklands across the region in several different cities including Baioona, Madinat Zayed, Al Marfa, Al Silaa, Ghayathi and Mizeriaa.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Saudi Arabia's Top Mega Projects

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is booming with new Mega Project developments. Although Dubai is in the news most of the time for spectacular Mega Projects you will be hearing more and more about the Mega Projects of KSA as time goes on. I will now list the top KSA Mega Projects.

1. King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). This is, I believe, the largest Mega Project being developed anywhere in the world right now. Located in Rabigh and valued at between $50 Billion and $100 Billion depending on who you want to believe. KAEC will contain everything from a wide variety of industrial zones to a large variety of residential and vacation offerings. It will be the crown jewel of KSA when completed.

2. Sudair City. This $40 Billion development is a mixed use project that will contain commercial, residential, educational and entertainment facilities. The project is located just north of Riyadh and is one of the largest Mega Projects being developed in the world.

3. Princess Noura bin Abdul Rahman University. This university will be located near Riyadh and will be for women only. The cost is estimated at between $11 Billion and $12 Billion. The university will cover 8 million square feet and contain labs, research centers, administrative buildings, residential areas, a student hospital and a railway system. Twenty six thousand students will eventually attend the university.

4. Landbridge Project. This is a $10 Billion, 950km railway system that will connect Jeddah with Dammam City as well as connecting King Fahd Industrial Port with Jubail Industrial City. These railway systems are key to the overall expansion of KSA.

5. Prince Abdulazaiz bin Mousaed Economic City. This Mega Project will be built in Hail and will consist of a variety of zones for trade and service sectors including agriculture, mining and food processing. This project will also include residential, educational and entertainment facilities. Estimated cost is $8 Billion.

6. Knowledge Economic City. This 5 million square foot Mega Project will be built in Madina at an estimated cost of $8 Billion. The entire city is being built to support the knowledge based industries of KSA. The project is estimated to take 10 years to build.

7. King Abdulaziz International Airport. This is a gigantic airport project and, in fact, will be one of the largest airport projects ever built coming in at a cost of $4.5 Billion. The project will be built in 3 phases. The first phase is currently underway and includes the construction of a 400,000 square meter terminal complex, a new control tower, new access roads and infrastructure.

8. Haramain High Speed Rail Project. This 450km railway will connect Makkah and Madina via Jeddah. The railway will be high speed electrified double passenger and is due to start running in 2012. Estimated cost is $4 Billion.

9. North-South Railway. Yet another massive railway project whose purpose is to connect bauxite and phosphate mines at Az Zubairah and Al Jalamid to processing facilities at Ras Azur Port. The project will be 2400km long and cost $3.5 Billion.

10. Jizan Economic City. This mixed use KSA Mega Project will be located south of Jeddah by the Red Sea. Like KAEC it will contain a variety of industrial zones as well as residential and entertainment offerings.

As you can now clearly see Saudi Arabia is rapidly expanding with Mega Projects of all kinds. I think the future of KSA is very positive and we can look forward to seeing many fantastic developments being built there for decades to come.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Each year ArabianBusiness.com publishes a list of the Richest Arabs in the world. These are some of the most powerful people on the planet. Furthermore, many of the people on the list are involved either directly or indirectly with the Mega Projects of The Gulf. Here is the newest list:


1. Prince Alwaleed / Saudi Arabia / $18 Billion
2. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber / Saudi Arabia / $9.7 Billion
3. Nasser Al Kharafi / Kuwait / $9.4 Billion
4. Mohammad Al Amoudi / Saudi Arabia / $8.8 Billion
5. Nasser Al Rashid / Saudi Arabia / $8 Billion
6. Al Ghurair Family / UAE / $7.1 Billion
7. Bin Laden Family / Saudi Arabia / $7.1 Billion
8. Olyan Family / Saudi Arabia / $6.9 Billion
9. Kanoo Family / Bahrain / $6.1 Billion
10. Said Khoury / Palestine / $6 Billion
11. Sulaiman Al Rajhi / Saudi Arabia / $5.2 Billion
12. Al Shaya Family / Kuwait / $5 Billion
13. Mohamed Abdul Latif Jameel / Saudi Arabia / $5 Billion
14. Saleh Kamel / Saudi Arabia / $4.9 Billion
15. Gargash Family / UAE / $4.8 Billion
16. Mubarak Al Suwaiket / Saudi Arabia / $4.8 Billion
17. Mahdi Al Tajir / UAE / $4.3 Billion
18. Saad Hariri / Saudi Arabia / $4.3 Billion
19. Hasib Sabbagh / Pasestine / $4.3 Billion
20. Majid Al Futtaim / UAE / $4.1 Billion
21. Abdullah Al Futtaim / UAE / $3.8 Billion
22. Al Zamil Family / Saudi Arabia / $3.5 Billion
23. Shwan Al Mulla / Iraq / $3.4 Billion
24. Sawiris Family / Egypt / $3.3 Billion
25. Osama Ismail Ali Abudawood / Saudi Arabia / $3.1 Billion
26. Bin Mahfouz Family / Saudi Arabia / $3 Billion
27. Suad Al Humaidi / Kuwait / $2.9 Billion
28. Sheikh Walid Al Ibraham / Saudi Arabia / $2.9 Billion
29. Abdulkader Bakri / Saudi Arabia / $2.8 Billion
30. Saleh Al Rajhi / Saudi Arabia / $2.8 Billion
31. Nadhmi Auchi / Iraq / $2.8 Billion
32. Abdullah Al Rajhi / Saudi Arabia / $2.6 Billion
33. Mohammed Al Issa / Saudi Arabia / $2.5 Billion
34. Ayman Hariri / Saudi Arabia / $2.4 Billion
35. Ali Hussein Alireza / Saudi Arabia / $2.4 Billion
36. Bahaa Hariri / Saudi Arabia / $2.3 Billion
37. Issam Fares / Lebanon / $2.3 Billion
38. Name Removed By Request
39. Mahammed Shafik Gabr / Egypt / $2.1 Billion
40. Al Rostamani Family / UAE / $2.1 Billion
41. Mohammed Abdulaziz Aljomaih / Saudi Arabia / $2.1 Billion
42. Abdulrahman Saad Al Rashid / Saudi Arabia / $2 Billion
43. Galardi Family / UAE / $2 Billion
44. Mohammad Kamal Jamjoom / Saudi Arabia / $1.9 Billion
45. Abdul Mohsen Bin Abdul Aziz Al Hokair / Saudi Arabia / $1.8 Billion
46. Bader Al Darwish / Qatar / $1.7 Billion
47. Bukhamseen Family / Kuwait / $1.7 Billion
48. Boodai Family / Kuwait / $1.6 Billion
49. Ali Said Basamh / Saudi Arabia / $1.6 Billion
50. Alghanim Family / Kuwait / $1.5 Billion

A great list! One thing really sticks out from reading this list: most of the Super Rich Arabs are from Saudi Arabia. Although the UAE gets most of the world headlines, Saudi Arabia is still the MacDaddy of The Gulf!

Here is the link to the ArabianBusiness.com article that I got this list Rich List from:


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