Jeddah Central Development Company (JCDC), a wholly-owned unit of Saudi sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF), has awarded the design contract to leading US architecture group Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) for its Oceanarium and Coral Farm landmark building coming up with its mega Jeddah Central Project.
JCDC, the developer of the Jeddah Central Project, had organised a design competition for getting the best out of the innovative designers from across the globe. The highly-competitive contest drew entries from some of the leading design firms in the world. 
The competition required the firms to develop a visionary architectural design for the Oceanarium and Coral Farm landmark building capturing the cultural essence of Jeddah, while maintaining a destination that satisfies today’s market needs and finally after fulfilling all criteria SOM was declared the winner, said a statement from JCDC.
One of the world's leading architecture firms, SOM brings over 85 years of experience to this new Jeddah Central venture.
On completion, the Oceanarium and Coral Farm will be bringing the exciting underwater world right to its visitors and cement Jeddah’s position as a regional and global sustainable marine conservation leader. 
The new landmark’s design will highlight Jeddah’s authentic architecture and reflect its contemporary identity while adhering to international standards, it added.
CEO Engineer Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Sulaim highlighted the company's role in achieving a key PIF and Saudi Vision 2030 objective through diversifying and enriching the tourism and entertainment industries to help build a thriving economy and more vibrant society. 
"The signing of these contracts comes as part of our plans to develop a project that will contribute to the growth of the national economy and the creation of jobs for Saudi nationals, all while providing Jeddah residents and visitors with a wide range of cultural and recreational destinations," he stated.
Chief Development Officer Paul O'Brien said the construction of the new landmarks will help attract both local and global quality investments for the development and operation of the JCDC’s unique facilities. 
It will pave the way for investors to participate in the creation of new promising economic sectors in one of Saudi Arabia's most attractive areas, he added.-TradeArabia News Service