Big potential for city planning in the Middle East

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The Middle East’s market is “very forward looking” and open to new ideas, says Wong Heang Fine, Group CEO of Surbana Jurong

In the interview with CNBC’s Capital Connection, Mr Wong Heang Fine, Group CEO of Surbana Jurong discussed the company’s operations in the Middle East and the opportunities in the market. Mr Wong shared that technology advances and the rise of the sharing economy will transform the way cities are being planned. Examples of new typology include vertical farming, and co-working and living spaces.

Surbana Jurong Group scores two projects in Zimbabwe

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Sharing a victory handshake are SJ’s Issac Assisi and Dr Gideon Gono, Chairman of TD Holdings, after Surbana Jurong and SMEC representatives completed the signing of the master-planning contracts with their clients.

Surbana Jurong’s Planning Group and Economic and Industrial Planning Team, partnering SMEC’s Urbanisation Team in Africa, have jointly secured two project wins in Zimbabwe. The broader service provision will be the Market Positioning, Concept Master Plan, Concept Infrastructure Plan and Development Guide Plan for an 8,000ha Agri-Processing City which includes a 225ha business park situated some 40km from the capital, Harare. The second is the Feasibility Assessment & Concept Master Plan for an Airport Hotel & Wellness Centre Development on the edge of the capital city’s limits. The projects will run concurrently and completion is expected in 10 months.

The projects are wholly aligned with the country’s long-term fiscal objectives to boost much-needed economic activity within a developing, robust Special Economic Zones (SEZ) strategy. Implementation of the newly appointed SEZ Board’s policies will see the two projects showcase not only as pilot schemes but also as important key economic drivers for the capital.