King Abdullah Financial District

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King Abdullah Financial District (rendering)
KAFD Conference Center

The King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) is a new development under construction near King Fahad Road in the Al Aqeeq area of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia[1][2] being undertaken by the Rayadah Investment Corporation[3] on behalf of the Pension Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, consisting of 59 towers in an area of 1.6 million square meters. It will provide more than 3 million square meters of space for various uses, 62,000 parking spaces and accommodation for 12,000 residents. In 2011, it was the largest project in the world seeking green building accreditation.[4] Bombardier won a $241m contract to build an automated monorail for the development.[5][6][7] The design guidelines do not separate the genders in the district.[7] The KAFD master plan was designed and overseen by Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects. International architecture firms such as HOK, Omrania, SOM, CallisonRTKL, Gensler, and Foster + Partners were commissioned to design individual buildings in the district, such as the 380-meter PIF Tower (HOK and Omrania).[8] Additional design work was provided by W Architecture and Landscape Architecture. The CEO of the development is Waleed Aleisa.[9] The project was at one point estimated to cost 29 billion Saudi riyals ($7.8 billion).[10]

Upon completion, KAFD is expected to host round 50,000 residents[11]. As Riyadh is characterized by its high temperature, a solar system will be installed to cool the passenger bridges that are going to act as a network that connects 30 building together[12].

KAFD Grand Mosque designed by Omrania[13]

The project is considered to be long over due and needed for a city of the size and position of Riyadh. The key issue with the project was timing as it was announced and incepted during the 2008 financial crisis[14]. A number of local and international commentators highlighted the potential oversupply issue with the project.[15] However, others, such as Hans Mueller in Saudi Real Estate Companion, believe that the market will be able to absorb the supply in the medium term.[citation needed][timeframe?]

The first phase was expected to open by July 2017.[16]

According to an interview with the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, King Abdullah Financial District will host the G20 summit in 2020.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Saudis Plan Middle East Financial Center, New York Times, May 10, 2006.
  2. ^ Saudi Mobile Operators End Free Global Roaming, Asharq Al-Awsat, April 27, 2013
  3. ^ Riyadh King Abdullah Financial District: Phase 2: Towers, MEED, January 6, 2013.
  4. ^ King Abdullah Financial District now the world's biggest green development, MEED, October 16, 2011.
  5. ^ Bombardier wins Saudi deal, Toronto Star, May 31, 2010.
  6. ^ Bombardier wins $241m Saudi monorail contract, Saudi Gazette, July 1, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Saudi Urban Projects Are a Window to Modernity, New York Times, December 12, 2010.
  8. ^ "Saudi Arabia is building a future for its millennial population -". Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  9. ^ "Saudi Arabia's financial hub". The Economist. 30 January 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Hill International Receives Contract Extension on the $7.8 Billion King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh".
  11. ^ Garfield, Leanna. "Saudi Arabia is building a $10 billion city on the sand — here's what it will look like". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  12. ^ Garfield, Leanna. "Saudi Arabia is building a $10 billion city on the sand — here's what it will look like". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  13. ^ "Omrania-designed KAFD Grand mosque is shortlisted for WAF Award". Commercial Interior Design. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  14. ^ "JLL Riyadh Real Estate market Overview Q1 2013" (PDF). JLL.
  15. ^ ArgaamPlus. "Saudi office space glut dampens demand in H1: Knight Frank". ArgaamPlus. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  16. ^ "Riyadh's new financial hub struggles with ownership uncertainty". Reuters. 2017-04-25. Retrieved 2017-08-06.