Red Sea International (Red Sea), the Saudi Arabian modular buildings specialist, announced on Sunday its Dubai-based subsidiary Red Sea Housing Services has signed an agreement with Aecom Middle East to potentially pursue housing projects in Saudi Arabia.
In a statement issued to the Saudi stock market, Tadawul, Red Sea said that the firms would co-operate over a 12-month period "to explore housing opportunities presented by the Ministry of Housing and identify ways to deliver innovative affordable housing solutions that meet the expectations of the stakeholders and can be delivered on fast-track basis".
If projects can be identified, Aecom will take on a number of responsibilities, including project and construction management, master planning of sites and infrastructure, buildings and landscape design and cost consultancy/value engineering.
“By combining our knowledge of the local market, solutions for affordable housing, and our design and program management expertise, we will explore opportunities that support the priorities of the Ministry of Housing and local real estate market.”
Saudi Arabia's housing ministry has been set some ambitious targets to grow the number of affordable homes in the country under the National Transformation Programme. It is attempting to double the contribution made to the kingdom's economy through real estate to 10 percent by 2020 and to improve the real estate sector's growth rate to 7 percent (up from 4 percent last year) by encouraging more private sector developers to build affordable homes.
The kingdom has also set the ministry a target of reducing the amount of time it takes to approve and licence new housing schemes to 60 days, down from 730 days when the transformation programme was announced last year.
The ministry has recently signed deals with six private developers in the kingdom in a bid to address the growing demand for affordable homes.
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