NEWS AND VIEWS THAT IMPACT LIMITED CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT
"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
No Churches in Saudi Arabia's new desert megacity
Your Gasoline Dollars at Work
Your petro dollars are helping to build a church free ultra modern mega-city in head chopping Islamist Saudi Arabia.
(BBC News) - With a flourish of his hand, the uniformed security guard waves us down the private road that leads to the newest city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The King Abdullah Economic City, (KAEC, pronounced "cake") is one of four new cities upon which the late monarch pinned his hopes for the future of his realm once the oil runs out.
Peppered with cranes, the city - or building site to be more accurate - lies one-and-a-half hour's drive north of Jeddah between the Red Sea and scrubby desert.
Its future depends on balancing the complex and evolving transport, health, education, housing and employment requirements of the city's projected two million residents.
According to Fahd Al-Rasheed, the managing director of Emaar Economic City, the publicly traded Saudi company that runs the entire KAEC project, the new generation of Saudis expect a city that matches the modern lifestyle they have grown used to while studying abroad.
"We're building with the 65% of the population who are under 30 in mind," he explains. "And we have almost 200,000 Saudis studying abroad. Inevitably they are going to change things when they come back."
At 70 sq miles KAEC will eventually be a metropolis slightly larger than Washington DC and at a cost of $100bn (£67bn), mostly from private funding, the King Abdullah Economic City is second to none in the grandeur of its vision.
"We aim to create one of the world's largest ports," says Rayan Bukhari, a young manager at the King Abdullah port.
Speed is integral to KAEC's vision for future. With Mecca and Medina on the high speed train network that links KAEC with the two holy cities, well-heeled Umrah (pilgrimage to Mecca) pilgrims are expected to visit the city as they travel from the place where the Prophet was born to the place where he is buried.
"The Haramain station is due to open by the end of the year," says Fahd Al-Rasheed, "That train service will alter a lot of things for us."