Public-private sector collaboration to liven up Saudi real estate

Strong government support and ongoing initiatives to boost real estate sector growth

Image used for illustrative purpose. Elevated view of modern city center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Image used for illustrative purpose. Elevated view of modern city center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Getty Images

JEDDAH — Cityscape Jeddah 2019, the eighth edition of the leading international real estate exhibition in Saudi Arabia, concluded Tuesday, giving developers, investors and industry decision makers alike assurances that the Kingdom’s real estate industry is on an upward trajectory.

Held under the patronage of Majid bin Abdullah Al-Hogail, Minister of Housing of Saudi Arabia, Cityscape Jeddah 2019 established itself as a global portal towards new investment horizons in the Saudi real estate market, a platform to share knowledge and learn about the latest economic trends and how they affect the main industries, namely the real estate and its related industries.

Strong government support and ongoing initiatives to boost sector growth was reflected at the show, with exhibitors showing confidence to execute projects supported by improved regulation and a desire for diversification in the property market to encourage investment.

The three-day event featured a high-profile gathering of government entities, leading Saudi and international developers from the private sector, with more than 50 exhibitors displaying a range of new property developments in the Kingdom and beyond.

The final day of Cityscape Jeddah included a packed Cityscape Jeddah Workshops program featuring keynote addresses and discussion panels delivered by a stellar line-up of 30 industry experts, focusing on important topics that mirror government interest in developing the current business environment and taking the Saudi real estate market to new and prosperous horizons across the kingdom.

The session titled ‘Standards of the Real Estate General Authority for Classification of Real Estate Brokers Companies’ was the first to highlight government efforts to empower the industry. The session was delivered by Dr. Saeed Bin Saad Al Qarni, Deputy Governor for Research and Systems Development, Real Estate General Authority, and moderated by Bandar Al Shehri, Director of Communication Department, Real Estate General Authority.

“Positive sentiment exuded throughout the three days of the exhibition, as we witnessed long- and short-term sector announcements and a wide range of project launches inside and outside the Kingdom,” said Mohaned Yaman, Senior Exhibition Manager, Cityscape Jeddah.

“The exhibition aligned with the latest trends that the Saudi and international real estate markets are witnessing. These trends are shaping the future of the real estate industry and exploring the best approaches to revitalize the market in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia according to the objectives Saudi Vision 2030.”

Eng. Abdullah Abdulaziz Alwassil, Business Development Director, Building Technology Stimulus Initiative, Ministry of Housing, delivered a presentation on the ministry’s array of initiatives, which was followed by a session on the ‘Real Estate Regulatory Program’.

“Through its pavilion at Cityscape Jeddah, the Ministry of Housing is aiming to promote knowledge and awareness on all government initiatives and projects launched to enhance the performance of the Saudi real estate sector,” said Eng. Alwassil. “The ‘Sakani’ program is aimed at providing six different products by the ministry to the community and includes residential units, free land, real estate loans that allow the purchase of ready-made units from the market and self-construction loans”.

“At the pavilion we displayed models of residential projects covering various regions, especially in Makkah, where we launched 14 projects to offer 55 thousand units,” added Eng Alwassil. “We aim to provide a range of services and solutions that contribute to raising the quality of residential construction, increasing the efficiency of energy and water consumption, and providing quality inspection services for construction works.”

“The Ministry of Housing is currently focusing on sustainability of buildings in line with the environmental sustainability standards. In addition, we are gearing up to launch the ‘Itmam’ Centre, which allows developers to apply for licenses and complete necessary administrative process that helps accelerate the completion of their business.”

“The real estate sector has grown notably in the past two decades, and market competition is aspiring to meet buyer expectations to reach the highest levels of integration,” said Ali Al-Sharbani, Chairman of Tabarak Real Estate Development Company, who participated in the workshop.

“We are seeking through the participation to achieve further corporations with key stakeholders in KSA and beyond in order to enhance the real estate investment and resolve the most important challenges of the sector.”

The event, which was held at Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events, brought together more than 50 exhibitors from six countries. Running alongside the main exhibition, the Cityscape Jeddah Awards recognized major projects that will benefit the Kingdom’s real development landscape.

The 2019 winners were: SAK Group with lead architects SAK Consultants for ‘Best Commercial Project’; The World Academy (TWA) with lead architect Innocad and IHCC (a Design and Build Co) for ‘Best Community, Culture & Tourism Project’; Diyar Al Salam with developers Lifestyle and 3C Architecture and Engineering Consultants – ‘Residential Low to Medium -rise Project Award – Built’; Heritage District with Omraniyoun Limited developer for ‘Residential Low to Medium -rise Project – Future’; Smart Square with developer AQALAT and Lead architect Khatib and Alami, for the ‘Masterplan Project Award’; Riyadh Park Mall with developers’ Asala Holding and architect Benoy, for ‘Retail Project Award – Future’.

Commenting on TWA’s award, the company’s CEO, Eng. Sultan Sobhi Batterjee, said: “Winning the award confirms to us that a Lifestyle Developers’ purpose of raising the standards of living is creating an impact on this generation and the generations to come. Today’s generation do not buy a house, they live a lifestyle.” — SG

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