The Marina District at the Jeddah Central Project.

Several agreements have  been signed over the past year in a bid to transform the $20-billion vision for Jeddah into a reality.

As recently as last month, the developer of the Jeddah Central Project, Jeddah Central Development Company (JCDC), signed an agreement with Malta-based International Hotel Investments to set up its Corinthia brand of hotels within the project’s beachfront lifestyle destination.

As per the deal, International Hotel Investments will be providing advisory services for the development and operation of these projects at Marina District located on the mega project’s waterfront along the Red Sea.

The Jeddah Central Project, previously known as New Jeddah Downtown, is being developed on a 5.7-million-sq-m plot of land overlooking the Red Sea. The project includes a 9.5-km waterfront, yacht marinas, floating berths, and 1.5 km of waterfront berths, as well as public and private sandy beaches. Jeddah Central Development Company (JCDC), a subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is spearheading the project which is aimed at creating a local attraction as well as a global destination in the heart of the Saudi port city.

Jeddah Central Project is expected to start receiving residents and visitors by 2027.

Jeddah Central Project is expected to start receiving residents and visitors by 2027.

Boasting a stunning waterfront location with 2.1 km of sandy beaches, the Jeddah Central Project will feature several landmarks, including a museum, an opera house, a sports stadium, and an oceanarium – which includes a coral farm. The development will also feature 17,000 residential units along with resorts and hotels with more than 3,000 rooms.

The Marina District will feature a world-class marina equipped for local and international boats, yachts, and superyachts. The marina will serve as a gateway to the Red Sea coast city, creating a thriving residential marine community, including recreational facilities, retail outlets, restaurants, and cafes.

The latest agreement establishes a framework for Corinthia Hotels and its sister company QPM Limited, to develop and operate assets within the Marina District at Corinthia standards.

According to JCDC, the development is being implemented in three phases. The first one will be completed by 2027 following which it will start receiving Jeddah residents and visitors. The second phase is set for completion by 2030 and the rest after 2030, it adds.

The first phase will commence in the heart of Jeddah, between Al-Salam Royal Palace and a water desalination plant.

Among other major deals signed over the past year, JCDC has awarded a contract to launch construction work on the ambitious development and another deal for the development of state-of-the-art desalination technology for the project.

The Jeddah Central Project is being developed on a 5.7-million-sq-m plot of land overlooking the Red Sea.

The Jeddah Central Project is being developed on a 5.7-million-sq-m plot of land overlooking the Red Sea.

The construction contract, awarded to Modern Building Leaders (MBL), includes the implementation of infrastructure and marine works, demolition of 400 buildings and infrastructure in the first stage, and the re-routing of infrastructure services. It also involves reclamation and offshore drilling, backfilling with the excavated material, which is estimated at 4 million cu m of earthworks, in addition to soil remediation and site preparation to start construction on the 1.5-million-sq-m site using the best engineering techniques. Furthermore, sea berths and yacht marinas will be built.

The scope of work includes yacht marinas with a length of 2.5 km and floating berths within the marina, construction of waterfront berths along a length of 1.5 km, and the rehabilitation of public and private sandy beaches.

In June, JCDC signed up world-renowned firm GMP International Spain GMBH and urban development consultants Khatib and Alami to provide the design and engineering of the sports stadium at Jeddah Central.

The stadium’s design is unique to Jeddah and is based on international standards to create a sports, entertainment, and cultural destination. 

It has also appointed Cruise Saudi to design a new international luxury cruise terminal for the development.

JCDC has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Waterise, a global leader in sustainable water infrastructure development, and Ajlan & Bros Holding Group, one of the leading investment holding conglomerates in the Middle East, for the desalination project, which will help JCDC in achieving its sustainable development objectives. Waterise’s desalination system combines existing reverse osmosis (RO) with leading subsea technology.