Faithful+Gould to help develop Jeddah's historic area

13 July 2023 2 min. read

The old town in Saudi Arabia’s second city Jeddah, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is to be revitalized with the help of project management consultancy Faithful+Gould.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture tapped the consulting firm to play a vital role in the development of historic Jeddah, with the aim of transforming the area with more livable urban planning to attract new businesses and cultural initiatives.

With a population of around 4 million, Jeddah is the second largest city in Saudi Arabia and often considered the Kingdom’s most charming. As a coastal city, the culture and cuisine differ from the rest of the country, leading locals and visitors alike to use the catchphrase ‘Jeddah is different’.

Faithful+Gould to help develop Jeddah's historic area

“In line with Saudi Vision 2030, the Historic Jeddah Development Program will play a key role in conserving historical sites in the Kingdom and driving cultural tourism and investments,” said Andrew Rotteveel, a managing director at Faithful+Gould (a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group).

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s revitalization agenda, called Saudi Vision 2030, aims to drive the economy away from a dependence on oil and diversify into sectors like finance, tech, and tourism. In line with this, nearly $1 trillion has been put towards development projects, including entirely new megacities.

“By adopting a fully integrated program and project management approach, underpinned by digital solutions and net zero best practices, we’ll work closely with all key stakeholders to drive efficiency and value throughout the project,” said Rotteveel.

The Saudi government announced a $45 billion project to overhaul Jeddah some 13 years ago, but it never materialized. With few details on new plans, locals were reportedly horrified last year when bulldozers began destroying whole neighborhoods in the city – leaving hundreds of residents without homes and no compensation.

Authorities have signaled they are removing problematic slums, but there are concerns the idea is to push out poor residents to make way for luxury tourism.

Faithful+Gould is one of the leading project management consultancies around. The firm’s portfolio in the region includes the King Abdulaziz International Airport, the Riyadh Metro, King Abdullah Financial District, and the Mall of Saudi, among other projects. The consultancy, which has an office in Jeddah and another in Riyadh, has also supported the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) on some of its most important programs.