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Reforms and renewed spending to fuel demand in construction sector





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JEDDAH – While the Saudi construction market has gone through setbacks during the past couple of years, recent reforms and renewed spending are expected to increase demand in the sector, industry leaders said ahead of The Big 5 Saudi construction event that kicks off today (March 5) here. Some 400 exhibitors from 22 countries are showcasing this year aiming to form international partnerships to bolster the Kingdom’s 4,700 projects currently underway that are worth $852 billion. Construction projects, including public-private partnerships, require international know-how and financial resources, business leaders said. As the Saudi Vision 2030’s diversification plans require new projects, the construction market has begun to experience renewed growth. Recent project announcements such as the Red Sea business zone project, NEOM, and other tourism and transport projecs, are seen as an indication that the market is slowly recovering since 2014 during which state-funded projects were halted and budgets were being revised. Reform policies such as private sector financing and plans to privatize government services are seen as steps towards recovery in the construction sector in the last couple of years during which 1,039 have been put on hold, according to the report ‘Saudi Arabia’s Construction Market Overview in 2018 and Beyond’ by BNC. Meanwhile, some 2,736 projects under construction are scheduled for completion in the next five years. Major projects include the $30 billion project Oil-to-Chemicals (OTC) Complex in Yanbu and Al Faisaliya City in Makkah that is worth $25 billion. New project investments are considered to support the market as over 700 projects are scheduled to begin work in the near future and to be completed by 2022. Demographic trends, namely densely populated cities, gave rise to urban projects in which residential and household properties make up the highest portion. The urban construction sector has more than 3,300 projects making approximately 70 percent of all construction activities in the Kingdom. Urbanization and the rapidly growing population are seen as critical to meet the needs of sustainable development and renewable energy projects, such as solar energy plants and smart cities. Riyadh’s 1,214 projects makes it the highest city with the most active number of construction projects, making up a quarter of all construction activities in the Kingdom with a total estimated value of $187 billion, followed by Dammam with 851 projects concentrated in the oil and gas sector. Makkah, considered a booming religious tourist destination, has around 249 projects worth

more than $1 billion, comprising only 5 percent of all active projects in the Kingdom. Jeddah has 783 projects with a high concentration on residential and commercial properties, such as the Al Ruwais Redevelopment worth $13.3 billion, among others. Organized by dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa and MICE Arabia, The Big 5 Saudi is co-located with Wood Tech & Design Expo Saudi 2018. “The Big 5 Saudi 2018 gathers many international and regional brands presenting innovations in construction, advanced and smart technology products. All of this embraces Saudi Vision 2030, with a strong focus on fast execution, development, and productivity in an encouraging market,” said The Big 5 Saudi's event director Roni Haddad. The event is also offering 54 free-to-attend Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certified workshops. Adeeb Mandoura, exhibition department manager at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said a partnership will be signed with DMG Events to host The Big Saudi in Jeddah regularly until 2020.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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