The greening of an industrial city in the Saudi Desert

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The Royal Commission for Jubail is a special-purpose government agency empowered to develop and operate industrial cities. Council member Bechtel has provided engineering and construction management services to the Royal Commission since its inception in the 1970s.

Jubail’s mission is to diversify and expand the Saudi economy through major heavy industrial development while simultaneously being a “green” city providing a very high quality of life for the city’s inhabitants. Of course, Saudi Arabia is a desert country with limited water resources, making this a difficult objective.

Over the last 30 years, Jubail has grown to become the largest petrochemical industrial complex in the Middle East and now has a resident population of about 150,000 people. Jubail has also become one of the greenest cities in the Kingdom with extensive parks, open spaces and tree plantings. Despite the lack of water, this has been achieved by highly efficient water and wastewater treatment systems using the latest technologies.

The city appears to be an oasis in the desert and provides highly attractive landscapes, parks and waterfront areas for the city’s residents. As a result, the city is becoming an ever-more attractive destination for young Saudi families, attracted by the promise of good jobs and a green environment.