Saudi’s KEC obtains $208mn loan for its mixed-use district project

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Saudi-based Knowledge Economic City Company (KEC) has secured a long-term Murabaha financing facility worth $208 million from the Kingdom’s leading lenders for the construction of the first phase of its key mixed-use district project, KEC Hub in Madinah.

The funds obtained from Tourism Development Fund and Riyad Bank will help to cover 79 percent of the project’s construction cost, provided that other procedures and documentation related to the financing be completed within a period of six months. The loan has been given to the KEC with a repayment period of 13 years including a grace period agreed upon by the parties.

KEC Hub, a 392,000 square meter facility, has been designed by the leading global architect and master planning firm, Chapman Taylor, and will form the retail, leisure and hospitality core of the KEC master plan. 

Located 6 kilometers 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 129,000 sq m shopping and entertainment center of KEC Hub includes a 5 star Hilton Hotel property in addition to luxury apartment units, hypermarket, indoor entertainment halls, a cinema and a health club. 

Further, it boasts a vibrant, open-air restaurant boulevard overlooking a public park on a 65,000 sq m area ideal for recreational programs, landscape spaces and entertainment shows.

The project also aims to boost 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. Further, the project intends to diversify sources of income and develop new sectors that leverage 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.

Related: Saudi’s SFD inks $19mn deal to finance enterprises in Egypt