Officials at the signing ceremony.

Saudi-based Umm Alqura Company for Development and Construction (UAQ) has joined forces with  Alinma Investment, a unit of kingdom’s leading bank Alinma, to launch a real estate development fund with an investment value of over SR17 billion ($4.53 billion) mainly focused on properties in Makkah.

The new Makkah Real Estate Development Fund is being invested in seven hotel towers and two commercial complexes that will be developed within the King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR) project in the Saudi city, says UAQ.

One of the most significant urban development projects in the Makkah region, it offers multiple and varied options including housing and shopping, and provides easy mobility and means of transportation between the project facilities and the central area of the main mosque, it adds.

CEO Yasser Abuateek says: “This strategic agreement is the first of several diverse investment activities designed to attract leading investment institutions. It confirms the appeal of investing in KAAR, an attractive destination for long-term investments, as well as the trust of the investment and financing community.

“This partnership also sheds light on the strength of Alinma Investment and its success in managing real estate funds, which makes it the ideal partner for implementing the project’s development and urban plan. The project aspires to become one of the modern landmarks in Makkah.”

“By successfully attracting investments worth over SR17 billion, UAQ will make progress in line with the execution plan for several diverse projects, especially since we have already reached several milestones, including completion of the pouring and construction of all the concrete blocks for the Makkah Metro tunnels,” he notes.

Abuateek says, in addition, the Saudi developer has completed nearly 50 per cent of the bridge work. “Currently, we are working on completing all the infrastructure projects that followed the demolition phase,” he added.

Lauding the deal, acting CEO of Alinma Investment Mazin bin Fawaz Baghdadi says: “This investment will play a major role in fulfilling the objectives of the finance sector, while our partnership will contribute to increasing the capacity to accommodate pilgrims and visitors through implementing urban developmental projects in the Makkah region.

“The funds’ investment objective is to achieve long-term capital growth through the development of the superstructure in various parts of the King Abdulaziz Road project in Makkah.”

“These include five-star international hotels (Taj Hotel and Kempinski Hotel), four-star hotels (Hilton Embassy), three-star hotels (Hilton Garden Inn), apartments (Kempinski Residence), and two malls,” he added.