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Design of Abdali Economic Zone

Envisioning a resilient industrial development for Kuwait

Situated in northern Kuwait, the Al Abdali Economic Zone (AEZ) is an important pilot project by the government to develop a resilient, socioeconomic zone in the country. Its key objective is to promote and develop trade in industries that are not dependent on the oil sector, helping to diversify and future-proof the economy. An integrated planning approach was required to support this vision, address urbanization challenges and ensure equal employment and life style opportunities.

Our Role

SMEC, together with our parent company Surbana Jurong, conceptualised the new approach to industrial development by delivering by delivering a detailed masterplan and infrastructure design services for utilities such as water supply, sanitation, irrigation, electricity, solar lighting and telecommunications.

The Masterplan proposal is tailored to the unique economic, cultural and environmental contexts of the Middle East region. Some of the strategic recommendations unique to the context are listed below:

  • A diverse mix of residential developments
  • Inclusion of a shading strategy in outdoor spaces due to the prevalent harsh climate
  • Inclusion of access control and traffic segregation strategies
  • Land parcels for urban farms have been reserved to ensure food access in the site buffer areas
  • Introduction of efficient public transport systems to reduce dependency on single car occupancy
  • 100% solar powered LED based street-lighting
  • 50m wide site buffer comprising a storm water collection channel and sand attenuation zone
  • Onsite Automated Waste Collection system
  • 24X7 water metering system
  • Centralised District Cooling Plants to meet chilled water requirements
  • 3 Nos 132kV Indoor Gas Insulated Substations and multiple 11kV distribution substations for a safe and reliable power supply

Leveraging our network of specialists, Surbana Jurong provided the master planning and urban design inputs while the SMEC team delivered the detailed engineering design for all complete infrastructure. The work has also been reviewed in accordance with the Pearl Rating System, a green building rating scheme developed by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council as part of their sustainable development initiative, Estidama.


For the zone to become a thriving hub for light industries and trade, the design provides employment and housing opportunities for more than 26,750 workers. The residential development will promote liveability through open spaces, retail, office, entertainment, public facilities and amenities within walking distance to places of work.

The Abdali Economic Zone is intended to be a model of an innovative industrial city for Kuwait. This project is set to become a pilot that will guide the development of a resilient economic zone in Kuwait. Learnings from the design will inform the future development of socially and economically resilient centers.

Technical Area:
Master Planning, Infrastructure Design

Learn More

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