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PRINCES NORAH UNIVERSITY

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The new university is the largest women-only university in the world, covering 800 hectares on the outskirts of Riyadh - and has been a hive of activity since King Abdullah marked the official start of construction on 2008.

The new campus includes a 700-bed university hospital, 15 colleges, a central library, a conference hall, laboratories and three research centres for nanotechnology, information technology and biosciences. It also comprises staff housing units, student hostels, primary, intermediate and secondary schools and recreational facilities plus administration buildings. The university officially starts operations in 2012.

There are colleges for medicine, dentistry, nursing, information technology, kindergarten education, languages, instant translation and pharmacy. It has 32 affiliated colleges in 17 cities and townships in the Riyadh province.

The university also has its own high tech transport system with automatic, computer controlled vehicles that link major areas of the campus.

The university is designed to cater for more than 50,000 students, with 28,000 already enrolled - and 3,000 staff on board.

Huda Al-Ameel, the newly appointed PNU president, said, "We are grateful to King Abdullah for this vital project, which will surely encourage PNU staff and students to exploit this state-of-the art facility to excel in education.”

Companies involved in the construction included main contracting firms Saudi Oger Ltd, Saudi Binladin Group and El Seif Engineering & Contracting Co as well as MEP contractors Vision Company for Electrical and Mechanical Works and Johnson Controls International (Cooling system).