King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC, /ˈkeɪk/; Arabic: مدينة الملك عبدالله الإقتصادية) is a megaproject announced in 2005 by king Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the then-king of Saudi Arabia.
With a total development area of 173 km² (66.8 sq mi), the city is located along the coast of the Red Sea, around 100 km north of Jeddah, the commercial hub of Saudi Arabia. The city is also approximately an hour and 20 minutes away from the city of Mecca, 3 hours from Medina by car and an hour away from all Middle Eastern capital cities by plane. The total cost of the city is around SR 207 billion, with the project being built by Emaar Properties. A Tadawul-listed company created from Emaar Properties, a Dubai-based public joint stock company and one of the world’s largest real estate companies, and SAGIA (Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority) which is the main facilitator of the project.
The city, along with another five economic cities, is a part of an ambitious "10x10" program to place Saudi Arabia among the world's top ten competitive investment destinations by the year 2010, planned by SAGIA. The first stage of the city is completed in 2010 and the whole city is planned to be fully completed by 2020. The city aims to diversify the nation's oil-based economy by bringing direct foreign and domestic investments. The city is also aspires to help create up to one million jobs. Upon completion, KAEC is said to be larger than Washington DC.
It is being built along with 4 new cities in Saudi Arabia to control sprawl and congestion in existing cities.