US firm Jacobs wins framework deal on Saudi industrial cities

Jacobs Engineering Group has won a two-year framework deal to consult and supervise on three new industrial cities in Saudi Arabia.

The California-headquartered firm will manage several construction contracts, overseeing work on roads, water distribution, power and telecommunications.

In 2001 the kingdom launched a multi-billion dollar drive to build 40 industrial cities to diversify the economy away from oil. Already completed cities now employ more than 350,000 workers, Jacobs said.

Jacobs Group Vice President Bassim Shebaro said he was delighted to help Saudi Arabia’s "mission of achieving a knowledge-based economy and industrial diversification".

The contract was awarded by the Saudi Industry Property Authority, whose acronym is "MODON". 

Jacobs kept the value of the contract secret.

Saudi Arabia observes strict gender segregation, and in August 2014 announced plans to develop a string of women-only industrial cities. 

Photograph: The landmark Kingdom Tower in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Kingdom Holding Company)

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