06 August, 2018

Saudi Al Akaria plans 7mln sqm mixed-use project in Riyadh

The project is scheduled to be launched in Q4 2018

Aerial view of the Riyadh cityscape against the sky during sunset. Image for illustrative purposes only.

Aerial view of the Riyadh cityscape against the sky during sunset. Image for illustrative purposes only.

Getty Images/Mohamed Noureldin / EyeEm
06 August 2018
Al AkariaSaudi Real Estate Company (SRECO), one of the largest real estate developers listed on the Saudi stock exchange (Tadawul), announced on Monday that it is planning to launch a seven million square-metre mixed-use project in the Saudi capital Riyadh in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The first phase of Al Widyan development is expected to cost 10 billion Saudi riyals ($2.67 billion), SRECO said in a press statement.

It said the development is the first private real estate project in the Kingdom to be granted the status of a Self-Regulatory Office (SRO), which de-risks the project for investors, reduces complexity in the development phase, fast tracks permit services while removing the need for co-developers and sub-developers to engage with central government authorities.

Abdulrahman Almofadhi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SRECO said in the statement that more details about the project would be announced in October.

"We have focused on putting people's wellness at the centre of the conception, design, and creation of this project," he said.

The press statement said construction work has already started with enabling, grading and infrastructure underway. It also noted that transportation and traffic impact studies have already been completed and approved.

The project would be executed by Al Widyan Company, owned 100 percent by SRECO, and be delivered in phases over a seven-year timeframe, the statement said, adding that it is targeting a 40 percent reduction in energy use and a 35 percent reduction in water use.

"We are building a legitimate proof of concept, locating key partners and investors and beginning construction. In line with this approach, our operations and projects are increasingly independent of public sector funding and open to investors from all over the world," said Almofadhi.

Al Widyan's site in northern Riyadh is located 15 minutes away from the international airport, 20 minutes away from downtown and within reach of a population of over eight million people, the statement said.

On Monday, SRECO also announced the appointment of Mamdouh Saud Al-Sharhan as the chief executive of SRECO. The appointment follows the resignation of the former CEO, Abdullah bin Ibrahim Saad Al-Ayadhi.

SRECO is partially owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund.

(Writing by Anoop Menon) (anoop.menon@thomsonreuters.com)

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