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$8 Billion “Pilgrim City” Planned for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia : 27 August

The ‘pilgrim city’ located near Mina could cost around $8 billion according to the Deputy Minister for Municipal and Rural Affairs in Saudi Arabia

Habib Zain Al Abidine said the number of pilgrims that can be accommodated in the city during the hajj is 1.5 million and that the plans were been investigated by the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars.

Two options are being considered.  The construction of concrete buildings or a set up consisting of modern tent designs are both possibilities.  The over one million pilgrims will be housed with tents or in multistory buildings, according to Al Abidine, who noted that this project may be ready in only five years.

These plans would provide more room for pilgrims visiting the holy sites during the hajj, as approximately 2.5 million pilgrims across the globe perform hajj annually.

The city of Mina lies east of the city of Makkah.  Mina has had an important role in the past as a location where pilgrims erected tents and lived temporarily.

Al Abidine also reported that three separate projects totaling $373 million will be up for approval.  These projects are to allow for a car park to be built, construction of toilets near the holy sites and the moving of existing slaughterhouses outside the city of Mina.

Also, the minister reported that the new $1.6 billion train link between Arafat, Makkah, Muzdalifa and Mina will carry 150,000 pilgrims this year.

Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
27 August

International Air Traffic Grows 9.2%

IATA reports that rising air traffic slows in July while freight traffic went up 22.7%
The amount of international air traffic rose in July, but slowed down from the growth rate recorded in June.  This data offers new proof that the recovering economy is beginning to wane.
Figures from the IATA stated that international scheduled air freight [...]

26 August

Interest Rates in Saudi Arabia to Remain Low

The rise and fall of the US dollar is not worrisome
It is expected that Saudi Arabia will keep interest rates low throughout the balance of this year and carry on tracking U.S. monetary policy.  This is in a continued effort to motivate banks to resume their normal lending activities, according to a leading Saudi economist.
Even [...]

26 August

Saudi Development Plan Approval Sets $385 billion In Motion

The government of Saudi Arabia approved a $385 billion development plan earlier this month that is expected to keep the construction industry growing.  Hundreds of new hospitals and schools will be built along with nearly one million new homes as Saudi Arabia works towards infrastructure improvement throughout the next five years.
The Kingdom’s construction sector remained [...]

25 August

Dubai Still Luxury Capital of the Middle East

Despite recent economic distress, Dubai is still perceived as the most luxurious market in the Mideast and strengthened by a recovering retail market on the heels of a sharp drop in 2009, according to retailers.
Industry figures estimate that Dubai’s retailers experienced a 45 per cent decline in sales over 2009.  The emirate is famous for [...]

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