In June 2007, His Majesty King Abdullah II, with the presence of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz (of Saudi Arabia), launched an urban housing project in Zarqa, an integrated city that will include all elements and components of a model city. In recognition of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz’s support for Jordan, King Abdullah II found it best that this project carry the name of this benefactor.
The launch of this project came after a visit by His Majesty to Zarqa in May 2007, when he inspected the needs of the citizens and had a look at the challenges facing the city. These negatively affected the government's ability to provide services to citizens and included such problems as the high rates of population density compared to the general rate of the Kingdom, the high rates of poverty in the governorate and the high cost of houses in most parts of the governorate due to the concentration of the population in limited areas.
The area of the city is about 21,000 dunums. It includes residential buildings and units ranging in size from 100 to 160 m2, with up to 70,000 units benefiting 370,000 citizens, in addition to public service facilities, commercial areas, banks and other services, a big mosque that accommodates around five thousand worshipers, cultural, athletic and recreational facilities, a centre for celebrations, gardens and parks.
Socially, it is expected that the project will contribute to improving the living conditions of the citizens of the governorate. It will: enable families with limited and lower incomes to acquire healthy, supported low-cost houses consistent with their financial capabilities; improve the health and education of citizens; and aid the reorganisation and development of Zarqa, especially its overcrowded areas, by redirecting part of the population to the new housing city.
Economically, the new city will contribute to reducing Zarqa’s unemployment problem by providing many work opportunities inside the proposed housing city and by providing the appropriate environment to attract and establish a number of investment projects.
To ensure proper implementation of the project, the King asked his brother, His Royal Highness Prince Faisal Bin Al Hussein, to chair a royal commission to supervise and follow up the implementation of the housing city in its various stages, coordinate among all actors involved in this pilot project, to address any difficulties they may face and to report periodically on stages of progress to ensure the timely completion of this important urban housing complex..
The National Resources Investment and Development Corporation (MAWARED) agreed to implement the project in collaboration with private sector companies and Saudi real estate companies. A company was established under the name, “King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Residential Development Company.” The second phase of the project began in August 2007 at a cost of JD 35million till the end of 2008.