Saudi-based Knowledge Economic City Company (KEC) said it has obtained a long-term Murabaha financing facility worth SR782 million ($208 million) from the Tourism Development Fund and Riyad Bank for the construction of Phase One of its key mixed-use district project, KEC Hub.
These funds will help cover 79 per cent of the project's construction cost (excluding the project land value), provided that other procedures and documentations related to the financing to be completed within a period of six months, said KEC in its filing to the Saudi bourse Tadawul.
The loan has been given to the KEC with a repayment period of 13 years including a grace period agreed upon by the parties, it added.
A 392,000-sq-m facility, KEC Hub has been designed by leading global architect and masterplanner, Chapman Taylor, and will form the retail, leisure and hospitality core of the KEC masterplan.
Located just 6 km from the Prophet’s Mosque and easily accessible from the Haramain high-speed railway station, it will be a central element for one of the largest tourism projects in the top 25 visitor destinations in the world.
The KEC Hub's 129,000-sq-m shopping and entertainment centre includes a 5 star Hilton Hotel property in addition to luxury apartment units, hypermarket, indoor entertainment halls, a cinema and a health club.
It also boasts a vibrant, open-air restaurant boulevard overlooking a public park on a 65,000-sq-m area ideal for recreational programmes, landscape spaces and entertainment shows.
The mall contractors Al Saad Contracting Company began work in April last year which is due for completion by end of January 2023.
The project also aims to enhance the role of the Tourism Development Fund in assisting investors in the tourism sector in developing new investment opportunities and boost the Fund’s contribution to developing distinguish tourist destinations by taking advantage of the large investment elements available in this field in order to achieve the goals of the Kingdom’s ambitious vision “2030” and its goals to diversify sources of income and develop new sectors that leverages the Saudi economy and make the Kingdom a global destination for tourism and investment.
According to KEC, the signing of the financing agreement by the Tourism Development Fund jointly with Riyad Bank confirms the importance of the project and reinforces the Fund’s cooperation with the private sector to contribute to achieving the kingdom’s ambitious vision and support the implementation of its programs, including the main components of the project in terms of shopping, accommodation and recreational services represented in the mall.
The project's land area is about 186,000 sq m in its first and second phases, with rental spaces of about 122,000 sq m. It is expected to finalise project execution in its first phase and commence operation of the project in 2024, it added.

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