Saudi Arabia's real estate sector has been projected to sustain a growth rate of between five to seven per cent until 2012, powered by a consistently strong domestic housing demand, expanding business development projects and a burgeoning hospitality sector, according to a recent study by Global Investment House. The study further revealed that the real estate sector's GDP contribution will reach 7.2 per cent in 2009, up from 6.8 per cent in 2004, as Saudi Arabia's real estate investments touch SAR 1.125 trillion this year and are estimated to reach SAR 1.5 trillion by 2010.
Saudi Arabia's robust growth potential has certainly made the country an attractive destination for investors, international suppliers, contractors and other real estate-related businesses. Driven by emerging new opportunities in the country, more than 650 regional and international companies, including numerous first-time participants, have already signed up for Saudi Build 2009, the biggest business-to-business construction technology and building materials event in the region. According to Riyadh Exhibitions Company, organiser of Saudi Build 2009, a total of 38 countries are now represented in the event, with several more applications being processed.
Shahid Bhatti, Project Manager of Saudi Build at Riyadh Exhibitions Company said, "One of the critical challenges of Saudi Arabia is its increasing real estate demand, which opens opportunities for foreign contracting companies and real estate developers who are looking for new projects and business prospects. Current estimates indicate that the country will need to build around 1.5 million new homes by 2015 to cater to a rapidly growing population, which translates to around 250,000 housing units annually. Major cities in particular are witnessing strong growth with Al Khobar having a 25 per cent per cent increase in housing demand, 21 per cent in Jeddah and around 17 per cent in Riyadh. Over 750 million square metres of industrial land is also poised to be developed within the next decade, along with some 4 million square metres of retail facilities and up to 2.4 million sqm of office space."
"The present and future real estate requirements of Saudi Arabia are quite overwhelming, which is why the country is enthusiastic about the attention it is getting from leading global industry players. As such, Saudi Build 2009 will surely be an exciting platform for participating companies to get introduced to the latest in this industry, while offering an opportunity for the Kingdom to take advantage of a highly formidable assembly of leading construction companies," added Bhatti.
Saudi Build 2009 – The 21st International Construction Technology and Building Materials Exhibition will be held from Shawwal 15 to 18, 1430 H / October 4 to 7, 2009 at the newly completed Riyadh International Exhibition Centre, one of the region's most advanced exhibition facilities located in Riyadh. Saudi Build has become a highly anticipated annual rendezvous of leading local, regional and international players in the real estate and construction industries, who are looking to capitalise on the numerous growth opportunities that the country offers through the event's professionally developed B2B platform. The event will be concurrently held with Saudi Stone 2009 – The 12th International Stone and Stone Technology Show.
The back-to-back events will complement the major projects being implemented in Saudi Arabia, including industrial land developments that are expected to expand the country's 1.5 billion square metres of industrial area by up to 50 per cent within the next five to 10 years. Saudi Build 2009 and Saudi Stone 2009 will likewise offer customised technologies, new construction techniques and the latest products and materials for various projects in the retail segment, which is expected to add a total of 4 million square metres of gross leasable area in five years.
Saudi Arabia is also building the King Abdullah Financial District, destined to be the largest financial centre in the Middle East with a floor space of around 3.3 million square metres. King Abdullah Financial District will help release the growth forecast of between 20 to 30 per cent in the office space segment of the country.
Saudi Build 2009 will gather thousands of high-profile business leaders from the Kingdom and around the world, diplomats and high-ranking Saudi Government officials. Exhibiting companies from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia will occupy a total of 23,250 square metres of indoor and outdoor exhibition space. Saudi Stone 2009 will showcase cutting-edge stone products, including marble, granite, travertine and stone derivatives, as well as cutting, polishing and manufacturing machinery. The event will also host national pavilions representing Austria, China, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Portugal and Turkey.