Emaar in venture to develop $7 bln Saudi project

RIYADH, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Dubai's Emaar Properties EMAR.DU and Saudi Arabia's al-Shoala Group said they were setting up a joint venture to develop a 27 billion riyal ($7.2 billion) luxury township near the Saudi capital.

The 3,100 hectare (7,660 acre) Rawabi Rumah project will include villas, commercial, healthcare and educational centres and a 400 acre date palm park and green belt, Emaar said in a statement on Saturday.

Shoala's owner, Prince Meshal bin Abdul-Aziz, said in the statement that the project would create 25,000 jobs and become a "trend-setting development and a new lifestyle destination for the Saudi people". Emaar's Saudi unit, Emaar Economic City 4220.SE, is spearheading the development of the King Abdullah Economic City, which the Saudi government has said could attract 100 billion riyals in investment. It includes a port, an industrial zone, a financial district and residential communities.

Dubai-based Emaar is the largest Arab property developer by market value. (Writing by Firouz Sedarat; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)