Royal Commission for Jubail conference sets out expansion plans

Jubail Industrial City, 24 February 2015. Jubail Industrial City is embarking on a long-term development and expansion plan that will increase its population by 150,000 people by 2030, the Construction Opportunities in Royal Commission Cities conference in Jubail was told this morning.

“Jubail Indusrial City is rapidly moving to grow in all directions based on a masterplan strategy to become a complete sustainabie city,” general manager for technical affairs at the Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu Ahmed Balawi said.

The city’s present permanent population is 160,000.

By 2030, three additional districts will be completed to accommodate 150,000 residents and provide 27,000 homes with all associated amenities, Balawi said.

“There will be worldclass educational facilities including a new university,” he said. “The Jubail city centre is a major initiative to create a flagship development and image for the city. The planning and development of the northern corridor buffer zone will include a new research park.”

The area developed and being developed for Jubail Industrial city is 154 square kilometres. This is bigger than Hong Kong and Singapore.

“We have conducted our masterplan update in 2012,” Balawi said. “The heart of the masterplan is an update of the previous one, and there are three strategies. First is economic strategy, second is community and third is environmental.”

“The economic strategy calls for diversification of the economic base, builds on existing strengths, aims to co-ordinate productive activities in Jubail and increase collaboration with stakeholders and the promotion of cluster developments.”

Priorities include completing the build-out of the Jubail 1 estate, continue with the development of Jubail 2, develop a logistics zone, engage with the railway development and develop the innovation park.

“The community strategy calls for a broader range of houses and recreational and shopping choices,” Balawi said. “We would like to enhance the image of the city. This involves developing a city centre, regional malls, a university and a stadium.”

“We need to do something about industrial waste disposal to the sabkha and there is a district cooling plan, Balawi said. “By 2030, you will see most of these initiatives in place.”

Jubail’s housing plans include:

  • The Mutrafiah district. Work started in 2008 and is due to be completed by the end of 2018.
  • The Mardumah. Work started in 2010 and is due for completion in 2020.
  • The Al-Reggah district. Work is due to be started in 2016 and completed in 2026.

Jubail University College located south of the city centre is planned to accommodate 18,000 students. Phase one is for half of the capacity of the university. It will be operating around 2019.

The Jubail city centre plan has been completed and contracts have been awarded. Work is about to start on the first major project in the centre which will be Sabic’s head office. This is designed to accommodate 6,000 employees.

“We are doing planning for the northern corridor buffer zone,” Balawi said.  The zone will accommodate an innovation park, residential developmens, light and support industries and a permanent wet sabkha.

“We are developing a regional park with an area of 1,500 hectares,” Balawi said. “We have decided to use discharge and excess water to irrigate the park.”

Balawi said that plans also include building connections through the two industrial zones to the national railway which is being built from Ras al-Khair to Dammam via Jubail.

“Soon we are going to hear about the SAR packages to develop the internal Jubail rail network which will link Jubail 2 and the port,” Balawi said.