Prince Khaled Al-Faisal Chair for the Development of Unplanned Districts in Makkah at the Umm Al-Qura University will be launched Saturday. Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal will make the formal announcement in this regard at a function to be held at the university headquarters. The university has established the chair as part of its scientific and research initiative to develop more than 100 unplanned districts in the Makkah region. Saudi Binladin Group will finance the activities of the chair during its five-year term. Bakri Assas, president of the university, told Arab News that the chair would help translate into reality the vision of the Saudi leadership to transform unplanned districts into modern urban districts with all infrastructure facilities. “The chair would seek comprehensive solutions to the problems facing undeveloped districts, especially in the social and security realms, through adopting the best local and international models in this regard. This will be in line with the directives issued by Prince Khaled to work out an executive mechanism to develop unplanned districts,” he said. According to Assas, the chair will focus on the scientific and research aspects contributing to achieve Makkah’s comprehensive and sustained development in order to transform it into one of the world-class cities. He said the chair would carry out scientific researche with the participation of the local and international experts on a number of topics. These included drawing up a working mechanism for developing unplanned districts in Makkah region, taking advantage of local and international experiments with regard to developing unplanned districts, and undertaking scientific analytical studies about the current social, economic, environmental and urban situations in Makkah’s unplanned districts. Assas said the chair would also strive to disseminate scientific information with regard to developing unplanned regions through presenting scientific papers in addition to carrying out critical studies about the best methodology in developing such regions. “The chair has also plans to organize seminars and workshops with the participation of local and international experts with the objective of discussing local and international experiments and exchanging expertise in this regard. Major highlights of scientific research carried out by the chair would also be presented at these seminars and workshops,” he said. The university president unveiled the chair’s plans to undertake scientific documentation of various phases of the project for developing unplanned districts in Makkah region, with special focus on the administrative, technical, organizational, humanitarian, security and economic aspects, transfer of the university’s knowledge and expertise in scientific and research fields to the society and the agencies concerned, and developing a mechanism and methodology for partnership between the university and the private sector in developing unplanned regions. Sameer Felemban, head of the Islamic architecture department at the university, is the supervisor of the chair. Members of the consultative body of the chair include Abdul Aziz Al-Khudairy, undersecretary at Makkah governorate, and secretary of the executive committee of the project for developing unplanned districts.