King briefed on plans for establishing new city
His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday was briefed on plans for establishing the new city, to be located nearly 40km from Amman’s centre and 31km from Zarqa city, in line with economic and administrative modernisation efforts.
The meeting, held at Al Husseiniya Palace and attended by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, brought together Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh and a number of officials, as well as the team involved in the new city project.
King Abdullah directed the government to form an advisory committee of specialists and experts in various sectors to benefit from their views on city planning, to ensure the new city will be an architectural and urban model, and to meet the sustainability needs for resources, energy, water, and the environment.
His Majesty called for moving forward with the implementation of the new city within clearly identified timeframes, in order for the project to become a key economic driver, while providing an investment-friendly environment to create job opportunities, highlighting the importance of providing the public with clear and transparent information on the project.
The King also stressed the need for the new city to accommodate current and future population growth in Jordan, improve quality of life, and ease pressure on facilities in Amman and Zarqa, in addition to being a model of effective public-private partnership.
The city will be established on and surrounded by state-owned lands, which would facilitate decision-making regarding various phases of the project.
Prime Minister Khasawneh elaborated on the government’s measures to complete this national megaproject, noting that studies and plans will be completed in two years, with the necessary funds allocated by the government, expecting implementation to start in 2025 with the infrastructure, as a total of JD442 million will be allocated for the infrastructure from the state budget, at an average of JD50 million annually.
He added that a ministerial committee was formed to supervise progress, noting that a government-owned company will later handle the management and follow-up on implementation of all phases of the project.
The prime minister noted that the ownership of new city lands will be transferred to this government-owned company, adding that the government will endorse regulations on urban planning of the city.
He said the city will be based on public-private partnership, and several buildings and facilities will be constructed on a build-operate-transfer basis.
For his part, Tharwat Masalha—resident manager of Dar Al Handasah, the firm tasked with preparing the studies and masterplan of the new city—highlighted the sustainable approach in planning the city, by ensuring sustainability of water and energy resources, and using modern transportation systems, in order for the city to be eco-friendly and attractive to residents.
He expected the first phase of the project, which includes preparing the masterplan, to be finalised by early 2025, and for the second phase of building the infrastructure to start in the same year.
Masalha said the city’s nucleus will include building a governmental complex that would house some public institutions, surrounded by residential areas, and other entertainment and commercial facilities, expected to be finalised in 2030.