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Saudis to Build Economic Zone

December 16, 2010

How do you say Tron in Arabic?

From the NYTimes:

Just off a desert road about an hour’s drive from this port city, an enormous arched gate capped by three domes rises out of the sand like the set for a 1920s silent film fantasy. It is, instead, a fantasy of contemporary urban planning, the site of what one day will be King Abdullah Economic City, a 65-square-mile development at the edge of the Red Sea. With a projected population of two million, the city is a Middle Eastern version of the “special economic zones” that have flourished in places like China…

To encourage more foreign companies and their employees to come here, the government will allow foreign ownership for the first time. And officials say the city will have a streamlined bureaucracy, so that unlike in other Saudi cities, where delays can make even the simplest transactions stretch out for days, action on visas or customs documents will take just an hour.

Credibility of commitment–how serious will foreigners take the King’s promise to tie the government’s hands behind its back? We shall see if the King is as convincing as Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.


One Comment
  1. Moe permalink
    December 20, 2010 6:37 pm

    Will it function under barbaric Sharia law, amputations and all, as well as prohibiting 1/2 of humanity to trade freely or drive a car without a companion of the opposite sex close by? If so, this will prove to be a spectacular failure.

    Getting rid of Islam will be the single best economic development that area of the world will ever undertake.

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