I went to the site this morning and unfortunately did not see any construction. It's definitely approved and the construction will start sometime this year. I will post more renders, diagrams and information next week.
By the way, it is located north of Kingdom Center. And just north of it accross the road will be al Ghadeer tower by al Rajhi.
Microsoft Arabia and SOIETZ for constructing new Riyadh-based technology park
H.E. Mr. Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al-Khrashi, Governor of Public Pension Agency (PPA), attended the ceremony of signing a memorandum of understanding between Saudi Organization for Industrial Estates and Technology Zones (SOIETZ) and Microsoft Arabia for setting up office in the Technology and Information City (TIC) to be constructed by PPA in Riyadh.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by H.E. Eng Abdullah Bin Abdul Latif AlSaif, General Manager of SOIETZ, and Dr. Khaled Al-Dhaher, Microsoft Arabia General Manager. The new city will be established in Al-Nakheel district and encompasses top-notch IT infrastructure for setting up technology and scientific compounds and a complete business-driven zone for promoting the ITC industry in Saudi Arabia.
'Technology and Information City (TIC) will play a strong role in the development of our local economy. It will help create high-tech industries, new jobs, attract foreign capital and increase local and national competitiveness. This development role is particularly important in transferring technology into the Kingdom and 'catching-up' with rapid technological developments in the global economy,' Al Khrashi said. He appreciated the initiative taken by Microsoft to be one of the first tenants in the new city, stressing the significance of the contributions made by Microsoft Arabia in supporting the IT industry and knowledge-based economy in Saudi Arabia. 'Many big IT corporations have showed keen interest in having physical presence in TIC', Al Khrashi added.
In this regard, Al Khirashi indicated that PPA is currently coordinating with other global players in ITC to participate in this national project. 'Signing the memorandum of understanding with Microsoft Arabia comes as a starting point for this gigantic project. Moreover, we are going to sign similar agreements with other ITC corporations to have presence in the new city, whether by setting up branch offices or providing the logistical support to build the infrastructure', he explained.
Eng. Abdullah Bin Abdul Latif Al-Saif, General Manager of SOIETZ, said that TIC will be constructed on 500.000 sqm with the possibility to expand by another 300.000 sqm. The city will be totally financed by PPA. 'This is the first Saudi technology park licensed by SOIETZ. It will include research and development centers, small and medium-sized local and global enterprise buildings and production labs for the big ITC businesses. Naturally, TIC will open the door for the international and regional investment communities to invest in the Saudi IT industry and make the utmost usage of the facilities and services offered by the city to the local, regional and international investors', Al-Saif pointed out. The headquarters, Al-Saif added, of Saudi Organization of IT and Communications will be transferred to TIC on a 50.000 sqm area. This move is a vital indicator of the efforts taken by the Saudi government to attract more investments in ITC sector, taking into consideration that the big ITC corporations demonstrate their keen interest in having physical presence inside TIC.
Dr. Al Dhaher, Microsoft Arabia General Manager, expressed his enthusiasm while signing this agreement with SOIETZ as it vividly reflects Microsoft's interest to be one of the tenants in TIC and its desire to help make this new city one of the top-notch technology cities worldwide.
'This memorandum of understanding illustrates our role as a strategic partner with SOIETZ in helping accomplish this project and arming it with the high-tech facilities in ITC', Al-Dhaher added.
'We have agreed upon exchanging the consultancies and knowledge that will help in creating a vibrant and state-of-the-art infrastructure in TIC. We will also organize IT workshops, seminars and symposiums and will submit our suggestions to help transfer the technology into Saudi Arabia and provide the necessary industry training in collaboration with other constituencies in the city', Al-Dhaher replied on being asked about the role of Microsoft Arabia as stated in the signed memorandum of understanding.
Al-Dhaher warmly thanked the executors of TIC which goes in harmony with the remarkable progress in Saudi ITC sector, thanks to the policies and regulations set recently by the Saudi government to promote the growth and capitals of this sector to be the biggest in the region.
It is noteworthy that SOIETZ has, in collaboration with the High Commission for the Development of Al Riyadh, issued the initial licenses for setting up TIC. The construction will kick off after finalizing the feasibility studies and designs by next June. SOIETZ is the governmental body responsible for issuing the licenses for this project that will be developed according to time-line phases. The central zone of TIC will be accomplished by mid of 2008 followed by the other facilities and plants.
Site area: 39,124 square meters
Total floor area: 90,000 square meters
Estimated construction start: 2007
I think this is different from the King Abdullah Financial Center because the site areas of these two projects dont match. However, they seem to be located in the same area if you look closely at the renders of two projects and compare their distance from Kingdom Tower.
Translation of an Italian article: (Thanks to Google Language Tools)
28/04/2006 - The Lab study architecture is winning of the international competition for the Business Center di Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia. The plan, situated on the more important road trades them in the center of Riyadh, is formed from a complex of single towers angle irons and connections that they form with a dramatic architectonic image. All the complex of slanted towers is connected through a “destined base” to garden and spaces trade them. There are two main accesses to the complex: one to the towers, the other to the services trades them and of ristoro through “canyon” (the garden), ritagliato in the ground and delicately in slope. The public walk, moreover, will work also as space dedicated to the relax. The perforated anodized aluminium skin that it covers the towers turns out an effective device of solar protection, contributing to the control acclimatizes them of the buildings, whose texture of surface will give life to the buildings. From the inner part the constructions will offer seen veiled light, the facades will act as from delicate decoration from the changing transparency, having supplied an appreciate comfort to the hard soleggiamento. “The entirety is a fencing of relationships plans to you. It is the relationship between all the members, sale by piece, restaurants and bar, spaces of the community and panoramic zones, that it has been studied and planned for giving to the development an only integration of uses and experiences and closely orchestrated”.
Melbourne based LAB architecture studio have been awarded first prize in an international design competition for the Riyadh business centre complex, Saudi Arabia. The management board of renowned developer alsheikh saleh al-rajhi were looking for a unique design for the business centre on a site of 39,124 m2. LAB’s design is a collection of angled and interlocking singular towers which come together to form a dramatic architectural image. The project aims to provide a diverse selection of office towers while maintaining a coherent and complex ensemble. A gently sloping cut in the ground will become a public promenade providing retail and dining facilities, while also functioning as a place of relaxation. The perforated skins of the facades provide climate control of the buildings, in such a harsh environment
"Saudi Organization for Industrial Estates and Technology Zones (SOIETZ)"
Is it me or do governmental organizations in Saudi Arabia have long retarded names? Every single name is long and boring with a bunch of unnecessary words. Why is it that instead of a name they try to have a definition as a name? Sorry but it is annoying. Why can't they ever have short sexy names? This could be Saudi Industrial and Tech Zones (SITZ). They don't need to have the extra words. Same with the sports federation which if I remember correctly is called the general presidency of youth welface. What the hell!! Why general presidency? jeez...
More examples? How about SAGIA? Does the word "general" really need to be there? Is there a SASIA (Saudi Arabian Specific Investment Authority)? NO!!
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