2004 News Story

International overland transport center to be set up in Jeddah

The land transportation committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) is working on a project to establish an international transport center, possibly utilizing the site of the old Jeddah airport. The plan is to operate bus services not only within the Middle East, but to North Africa and East Europe. The transport center would serve more than 400,000 passengers annually, operating with some 2,000 buses. Initially, the bus service would operate to Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman and Yemen. Later, it would be expanded to cover Iran, and eventually East European and North African countries.

Once the location is finalized, the Jeddah transport center will be constructed to include facilities such as restaurants, supermarkets, gift shops, Internet cafes and sports facilities. A joint-stock company is being formed to raise capital for the project, which is estimated to require a total of around SR 2 billion [U.S. $0.53 billion] in capital investment. Currently, there are more than 50 transport companies, in addition to the Saudi Arabian Public Transport Company (SAPTCO), operating international services from Jeddah, with offices scattered all over Jeddah. All of these would benefit greatly from the new center.