South Korea exports Smart City Concept into Kuwait

South Saad Al-Abdullah

In designing the city of the future, why not start building one from scratch, instead of dealing with the legacy of an ‘unsmart city’. And why not copy a smart city that is already in operation successfully. That is what Kuwait thought when it hired a South Korean consortium to build Kuwaits newest smart city from scratch. A four billion dollar project. The name of the city will be South Saad Al-Abdullah and will provide accommodations for between 25,000 — 40,000 families. The new city will be 15,913 acres in size. Construction will start in 2019.

The South Korean construction consortium will be a public-private partnership, led by POSCO A&C and Hyundai Architects and Engineers Associates Co. In fact, with this project, South Korea is ‘exporting’ its Smart City Concept into the Middle East. The concept to be copied is the concept of the city Bundang in South Korea.

Exporting well proven concepts is a smart move, as the economically active population in the Middle East is growing relatively more than anywhere else in the world. Kuwait is currently working on the planning of nine new cities in the coming years. South Saad Al-Abdullah will be the example city. Learnings during this project will be taken along in the new projects.

The construction of this city is part of “New Kuwait 2035”: a development plan that represents the state’s promising economic future by 2035, a plan that aims at transforming Kuwait to a financial and commercial center that attracts investments.

The government of Kuwait said it will help form the consortium in 2018 and set up a special purpose company in 2019 to push forward the US$4 billion project.

Less than two weeks ago, Yasser Abul, Kuwait’s Minister of State for Housing Affairs and Minister of State for Services, signed a $41m (KWD12.5m) contract with representatives from Korea Land and Housing Corporation for the design and planning of Saad Al-Abdullah City.

*) Image credits: Yonhap file photo

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