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(Report by Engr. Naseeruddin)

The Institution of Engineers Pakistan, Saudi Arabian Centre (IEP-SAC), Eastern Province Sub-Centre organized its 4th Technical Seminar on June 02, 2000 at Dhahran International Hotel, Dhahran. The topic of the seminar was "Kingdom Center-Concept and Impact" which was presented by Engr. Tariq Javed Cheema, Project Director, El-Seif Engineering Contracting Est, Riyadh. The seminar was attended by over 100 Pakistani Engineers in addition to a number of distinguished guests.

The Chief Guest was Mr. Hilal Hussein Al-Tuwairqi, Chairman, Al-Tuwairqi Group of Companies.

The program was opened by Engr. Aziz Arshad, secretary IEP-SAC, Eastern Province Sub-Centre who invited Engr. Ghulam Sarwar Khokar for recitation from the Holy Quran. The welcome address was given by Engr. Jaleel Hassan (Chairman, IEP-SAC), who informed the audience of the activities of IEP in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Rafiq Malik, Convener Technical Committee of the IEP-SAC Eastern Province Sub-Centre, gave a short introduction of the Speaker.

Speaking on the topic Engr. Tariq Cheema informed that the Kingdom Center-a modern 300 meter high inspiring "Tower" surrounded by beautifully landscaped East and West Podiums will be the tallest building in Saudi Arabia and the second tallest in the entire Middle East.

The mixed-use project costing about 1.7 Billion Riyals is being developed on a site area of about 96, (300x320m) of prime land in the heart of the main commercial district of the capital Riyadh. The distinctive idea of developing and implementing the prestigious project was conceived by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Chairman, Kingdom Holding Company. Trade Center Company Limited, a subsidiary of Kingdom Holding Company will operate the Center of 300, of build-up area, the tallest useable multifunction building in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. With the completion of Kingdom Center, Saudi Arabia will join the club of the countries of skyscrapers, such as USA, Canada, Great Britain, China, Malaysia, Japan and UAE.

The project comprises of three main components; The Tower, East Podium and West Podium. The total 99, build up area for tower will comprise of 2 underground basements floors, majestic 25m high ground lobby, 4 technical floors, 30 floors & 2 mezzanines for offices, business center, hotel and residential apartment.

The West Podium comprises of convention and wedding hall, sports & health club, back of the house hotel facilities, car parking for about 1000 cars and other electromechanical services.

The East Podium consists of various commercial and entertainment facilities. The most modern world class shopping complex in the Middle East will comprise of three levels of huge 41, shopping area with 160 retail stores, Planet Hollywood theme restaurant, food court and food hall, children play area and renowned departmental store Saks Fifth Avenue. On level 2 of this shopping complex will be the first exclusive shopping center for women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, "The Ladies Kingdom," complete with ladies only business center, bank, spa, and theme restaurant. This shopping mall will be directly accessed by car at level 0 and level 2. Car parking space for 2,000 cars will be provided in 3 underground levels. 18 escalators and 11 elevators will be used to access the various levels of shopping center and the car parking.

Ellerbe Becket/Omrania & Associates, who are also the technical manager for the project, have designed this project. The owner has assigned Saudi Arabian Bechtel Company as the project Manager. Elseif Engineering Contracting Establishment has been engaged to execute the project as General Contractor.

Speaking on the Pakistani contribution to the construction of the Kingdom Center, Mr. Cheema said, as much as 95 percent of the El-Seif workforce were "Pakistanis".

The Kingdom Center will have a great impact on the social and commercial environment of Riyadh. The tower will dominate the skyline above Riyadh’s premier commercial district and its architectural beauty will remain in the memory of the visitors who once visit it. It is believed that the shopping complex will provide a whole new lifestyle for the capital residents.

A brief introduction of the Chief-Guest, Mr. Hilal Hussein Al-Tuwairqi was given by Engr. Ismet Amin Khawaja, Chairman, IEP-SAC Eastern Province Sub-Centre.

He informed that a good number of Pakistanis were working in his Group and his Group’s rank is 91 in the top 100 companies of the Kingdom. In his keynote address Mr. Tuwairqi lauded the contributions of Pakistani Engineers to the Kingdom’s development. He commended not only the Engineers but also other Pakistani Staff in his Group whose efforts have contributed to the growth of his companies. He said that the relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia was very deep. He also declared for any help to the Institution of Engineers, Pakistan in future.

In the end the Chief-Guest and the Speaker were honored with a memorable gift of plaque by the IEP-SAC, Eastern Province Sub-Centre.
The program concluded with a delicious dinner served to the attendees after Maghrib Prayer.

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