Press Releases

IFC and GACA Support Public-Private Partnerships for Commercial Development of Saudi Arabia’s Major Airports

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: 0020 2 461 9150 Ext. 306


Riyadh, January 29, 2008 - H.E. Abdullah M. N. Rehaimi, President of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation, and Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an advisory agreement to help mobilize private investment for sustainable, commercially oriented developments around three major airports.  These include the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, the King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh, and the King Fahad International Airport in Dammam.

The projects aim to develop “airport cities” under private sector participation schemes. This will help the airports make better use of the assets within their boundaries, improving operations and creating jobs while helping GACA achieve financial sustainability.

GACA’s President Rehaimi said, “We are confident that this renewed relationship with IFC will help us pursue our mission to deregulate the country’s air transport sector and stimulate aviation activities in Saudi Arabia.”

Thunell added, “IFC is helping Saudi Arabia to diversify its economy by increasing private sector participation and by developing its airports into economic hubs for the country."

Last year IFC helped the General Authority of Civil Aviation structure its first two public-private partnership transactions: the concession for the Hajj Terminal and the tender for a desalination plant, both at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. The expansion of the terminal is being completed and should be ready in time for the next Hajj.  The desalination project will upgrade systems and supply an initial 30,000 cubic meters of potable water a day to the airport.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit