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King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) project: a Journey into the Sky
A Report by Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry:
King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) projectembodies one of Riyadh's future vision aspectsset by the city's comprehensive, strategic planner, which was prepared by the High Commission for Development of Arriyadh. And in which it urged that the Saudi capital be an active, competitive "financial and commercial hub", in a manner that integrates with the functional, political role at both the national and regional levels, which Riyadh enjoys.

 

Wide-Scale Investment Horizons:

 

His Royal Highness, Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, Riyadh's Prince, and Chairman of High Commission for Development of Arriyadh, has affirmed on more than an occasion that all the indicators show that Riyadh is on the threshold of a wide-scale investment horizons. Thus, it enjoys several opportunities in the various investment sectors, among of which is the financial sector. He went on to point out that King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) project is contribute to supporting the efforts aiming at diversifying the country's economy through expanding the contributions of the various economic sectors with regard to the gross national outcome, attracting the various investments, and creating the job opportunities for the Saudi labor force. He has also affirmed that the project establishment highlights what the future vision has included and interprets the economic development strategy, which has included a wide range of policies in support of boosting the financial sector as one of the auspicious sectors in Riyadh.


For his part, his Excellency the Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf stated that "our joint goal of establishing King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) is to provide attractive work environment for the ever-growing number of the Saudis working in the financial sector."And for his part, his Excellency the Chairman of the Capital Market Authority Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al-Tuwaijri pointed out that "we keep seriously working on developing and supporting our capital market, and we expect that" the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD)"will work on raising  the financial sector contribution with regard to developing the national economy with all its available capabilities and presenting our education-seeking youths diversified opportunities to hone their skills and develop all their capacities; in order to participate in developing and expanding our capital market base."


 
As for his Excellency the Governor of the Public Pension Agency, in charge of developing it, Mr. Mohammed Bin Abdullah al-Kharashi stated that "the Public pension Agency embraces investment programs that bring benefit to the retirees' rights, and help boost the Agency's financial resources; and the Agency's investment of this project goes with this policy. The Agency is to undertake a full possession and development for the project and create an opportunity for the Capital Market Authority (CMA) and the other governmental bodies such as Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, as well as concerned companies such as insurance, banks, and financial services to get appropriate locations equipped with the lasts global levels. And the Agency expects that this project is to create high quality and efficient work environment to attract the good investment opportunities to our country."

 

 

 
 

  

Smart and Self-Sufficient Center:

 

King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) is considered the first of its kind in the Middle East region in terms of size and regulation, as well as the technical specifications and the intended role. Its establishment is underway in the north of Riyadh on a total area of 106 million square meters, and it can be compared to the London Canary Wharf, which stands at a 345 thousand square meter area. And implementing the project is underway according to the schedules and the timelines set for it. It is hoped that when it is finished, the Kingdom, the world's oil capital, will boost its position as a financial capital for the Middle East especially that the Kingdomhas made great strides in its self-contained, carefully-planned program to modernize, develop, and advance its financial sector.

 

Further, the project has been designed according to the latest global standards to be smart, elegant, and self-sufficient center to facilitate the financial work practice and investment in the Kingdom. Thus, several prestigious local and international banks, investment companies, professional and service active in the financial field in the Kingdom have expressed their desire to move to the Center; in order to contribute effectively to diversifying one of the biggest world's economies depending on oil.

 

 

A Pioneering Initiative:

 

The idea of King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) project has set out since 2003, when the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, May Allah protect him, announced that this huge project which is to boost the Kingdom's financial and economic status, and help transform Riyadh into  the capital of the economy and financial commerce in the Middle East.

 
The King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) represents a strong push for the Kingdom's economy in general as the Center is to be a meeting point for the financial world companies and the latest of what the technology has achieved. This in turn is to render apt to strongly establish the system of the developmental basics, which guarantees the continuity of the leading role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its capacity as the region's biggest economy.


    The Region's Hugest:

     

The King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) is considered the hugest financial center in the Middle Eastand a civilizational and economic model worldwide. This edifice stands at more than 106 million square meter area. It is currently being established according to the latest architectural styles, and it is developed by the Public Pension Agency. In addition to this, it includes many of financial agencies, public services, hotels, and mosques, and it contributes to creating several job opportunities for citizens in thefinance, investment, and economy fields.


 
It is expected that the project is to be a headquarters for several banks, andlocal and international investment companies. It is also to be a headquarter for the Capital Market Agency, the Central Bank, and the headquarters of banks and financial agencies; and the agencies of chartered accounting, Advocacy, financial consultations, and technical services; and a conference and showrooming center; and private recreational facilities, and a financial academy for training and developing the skills of the Saudi youths. It is projected that more than 75 thousand employeeswill work in theKing Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) after it has finished.


 
At a time when the efforts of the Public Pension Agency, the project's owner and developer which will bring benefit to it and the retirees' rights through boosting the Agency's financial resources as well as what this huge project gives in terms of an additional value for the national economy, are highlighted; the boundless support of the Government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, his royal highness the Crown Prince, and his royal highness the Second Deputy, and the continuing follow-up of his royal highness prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, Riyadh's prince, may Allah protect them, is on for the project, which lends it significance. As such, it contributes to supporting the national efforts which seeks to diversify the country's economy through attracting the foreign investments. And Allah willing, it is to help advance and develop the country's economies, and create a plenty of job opportunities for citizens; and contribute to reducing the level of employment and poverty, and expand in terms of the financial and economic markets, which will render the Saudi economy a source of attraction for the world's state.

 
Establishing the financial center aims at several economic gains and a number of main objectives, in addition to contributing to the economic growth and the development which Riyadh witnesses in a wide range of fields, the most important of which are :

 

-Combining the agencies working in the financial sector.
-Part of the comprehensive program plans for the economic diversification.
-Raising the contribution of the financial sector to developing the national economy with all its available capabilities included.
-Attracting the various financial investments.
-Creating the job opportunities for the working national force through introducing thousands of jobs.
-Meeting the training and development need through setting up a financial academy.


 Activities and Components of the Project:

 

The King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) comprises the main headquarter of the Capital Market Authority, the headquarter of the Stock Exchange (Tadawul), a financial academy in the heart of the center, and several headquarters in terms of banks and the other financial companies and institutions, and what are associated with them in terms of accounting and legal auditing and advocacy offices; and rating institutions, and the consulting and financial institutions; in addition to other broad range of service and facilities such as hotels, residential neighborhood, conference and showroom halls, recreational and sporting activity places, and modern means of transportation. 


 
The Center includes plenty of activities and work elements such as:

 

  • Work places: it is going to be a place where the financial companies and institutions meet; this in turn is to help accommodate many highly-qualified employees working in the financial sectors and relevant sectors. Further, the Center is to combine the main headquarters of the Capital Market Authority, Exchange Market, banks, companies, and other financial institutions; in addition to   other service offices such as accountants, legal professionals, lawyers, and rating institutions. And the Financial Center is going to set developmental basics appropriate for the next generations' ambitions, which will secure the Kingdom's leading role on its capacity as the region's hugest economy and financial status.

 

  • Education: the financial academy to be established in the Center is going to be a pioneering educational institution concerned with the financial specialties, and presenting training courses for those working in the financial sectors, or those desiring to work for them in the future. This in turn is to hone their skills and develop their lacking capacities. And it is to be spread to be highly distinctive; and to fuel the enthusiasm of the new, ever-growing generation of financial sciences professionals.

 

  • Mosque: the Center is to include a number of mosques that are prepared to create for the occupants and frequenters cozy and convenient atmosphere to perform their worshiping.

 

  • Housing: the Center is to include a housing compound for those working at the Center, and educational services that will render it a model with global standards.

  • Meeting Places: the Center creates a wide range of opportunities for meeting and exchanging opinions and ideas among the Center's goers, as it has touristic area with extra-ordinary services to bring a variety of entertainment for all the community individuals, as well as the existence of a plenty of enjoyable and continuous activities in this prestigious center.

  • Transportation: the Center includes self-contained infrastructure for car transporting and means of public transportation, which in turn make the Center's frequenters move smoothly and comfortably.

  • Services and Facilities: the Center includes a number of services and facilities which will make it one of the most important self-contained financial centers in the world, and according to the twenty first century specifications; among these services and facilities  are five-star hotels, conference and seminar halls, and specialized showroom centers.
 

 

 Until the state of preparedness which the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) project experiences during the next period by transforming Riyadh into a world Mecca for capital and oil on the regional and international levels has completed, the stress on its great role will be on in terms of boosting the global financial, banking, and economic sectors, going with the strength, solidness, and status of the Saudi economy in the world.

 

     

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