Saudi Arabia, the top oil exporter, is planning to host the world's largest gold factory by the end of 2011, Arab News reported on January 4. It will become a reality by the end of this year,” the CEO of Taiba for Gold and Jewels company, told the daily.

The factory, located in city of Jeddah, will usher in between 500 to 800 jobs, he said, adding that the 22,000-sq.m plant is already under construction. The project is the brainchild of the company which has 25 years experience in gold sales. The kingdom has led the Middle East in gold and jewellery consumption and sales. Saudi Arabia, the top Arab holder of gold reserves, is now the 16th largest gold holder.

In June 2010, the World Gold Council, a non-profit body that tracks gold holdings across the globe, said Saudi Arabia, the world's fourth largest holder of foreign exchange reserves, has doubled its gold reserves to 323 tonnes.

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