Saudi Arabia's Jabal Omar Development Co. awarded Binladin, the country's largest contractor, and Saudi Oger, owned by the family of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, the contract to build a $2.9 billion project in Mecca. In addition to a prayer area accommodating 65,000 people, the development will have 39 buildings including hotels, residences and retail facilities. Jabal Omar raised $537 million by selling a 30% stake in a November initial public offering (IPO) that valued the company at around $1.79 billion. The remaining 70% of the company is held by the owners of a 23 hectare (56.8 acre) plot of land in Mecca near the Grand Mosque. The cost of land in Mecca, Islam's holiest city, has surged, with land selling for as much $50,000 per square metre, according to government statistics. That compares with $14,522 per square metre in London and $24,900 per square metre in Monaco, according to the Global Property Guide.
Thursday, December 20, 2007