The government fund established Al Balad Development Company (BDC) to redevelop Jeddah’s historic Al Balad district.
BDC will focus on improving the district’s infrastructure, overseeing the restoration of historic buildings in Al Balad, and developing service facilities as well as recreational, residential, commercial, hotel and office spaces.
The overall project development area will comprise approximately 2.5 million square metres, with a total built up area of 3.7 million sq m. This includes 9,300 residential units, 1,800 hotel units and around 1.3 m sq m of commercial and office space.
World heritage site
The company will collaborate with the private sector and specialists to develop the area’s infrastructure according to the best standards of urban planning for historic areas, taking into account environmental sustainability and preserving the unique heritage of Historic Jeddah: a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The aim is to transform it into a leading tourism destination that attracts visitors from around the world, thus contributing to economic development, with the company also working to offer attractive investment opportunities and quality commercial options for the people of Jeddah.
BDC aims to provide a rich experience to explore the cultural and historic dimensions of the district, by providing an integrated environment that attracts residential, work, cultural and recreation development, contributing to quality of life and improving the visitor experience.
Al Balad features an urban character with distinctive coral limestone architecture. In 2021, HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz launched the ‘Revitalise Historic Jeddah’ initiative, as part of the Historic Jeddah Development Project.
Diversifying through tourism
The establishment of BDC aligns with PIF’s strategy to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy through developing and enabling strategic sectors, including real estate and tourism, contributing to achieving the aims of Vision 2030.
Other PIF megaprojects which encompass hotels include Mukaab in Riyadh, boasting a massive 9,000 keys; Al Wajh-based Amaala, which will feature a collective 3,000 rooms; and the recently-announced Ardara AlWadi on the outskirts of Abha.