HRH Prince Misha’al inaugurates Cityscape Saudi Arabia

Published June 14th, 2009 - 11:08 GMT

Over 100 companies and in excess of 5,000 participants covering 10,000 square metres - Jeddah debutant already Kingdom’s largest real estate event

HRH Prince Misha'al bin Majed bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Jeddah Province, today (Sunday 14 June) officially opened the inaugural Cityscape Saudi Arabia, which even on its debut is now the largest real estate investment and development event in the Kingdom.

Under the patronage of Prince Misha’al, the showcase which runs from 14-16 June and takes place at the Jeddah Center for Forums and Events is hosting over 100 companies, covering 10,000 square metres and organiser IIR Middle East is expecting more than 5,000 participants over three days.

“Launching Cityscape Saudi Arabia highlights the strength of the Saudi Arabian real estate sector as well as confidence in the wider economy. Saudi developments have been carefully planned and regulated. As such the Kingdom has managed to avoid certain pitfalls that have affected projects elsewhere in the Gulf, such as short-term investment speculation,” said Deep Marwaha, Event Director of Cityscape Saudi Arabia. 

His remarks came during the opening tour of Cityscape Saudi Arabia, when details of a study carried out by Dubai-based Proleads research house for Cityscape, were released. The report shows that of 812 active projects in the real estate, leisure and entertainment and infrastructure sectors with a total budget of $543 billion, only 4% by value have been put on hold or cancelled.

Of the 812 projects studied by Proleads, 460 of them with a total budget of close to $289 billion are already in construction. Most of the rest are either in active planning, study, design or bidding stage. A further 30 projects (1% by value) have been cancelled and only 25 (3% by value) are on hold (see pie chart).

“Compared with other parts of the Gulf, the Saudi Arabian civil construction market is in a much healthier state because it reflects more closely local population demand and growth,” said Marwaha.  

The study also shows cash flow in Saudi Arabia on real estate projects maintains a tighter balance with that on infrastructure, seen as a stabilising factor by most analysts. Demand in Saudi Arabia comes primarily from the domestic population, rather than expatriates with estimates suggesting only 35% of Saudis own their own homes and 1.5 million new housing units will be needed in the coming five years to meet the demands of a large and young population.
“While civil construction in other Gulf countries has been dominated by a volatile domestic real estate sector, in Saudi Arabia it has been more balanced with the government’s budget for infrastructure keeping pace with that of real estate,” Marwaha added.

Cityscape Saudi Arabia is aimed at regional and international investors, real estate developers, government and development authorities, architects, designers, consultants and senior professionals involved in the real estate industry. It will also be an arena to showcase projects and network with investors and developers from around the world.

Principal sponsor of Cityscape Saudi Arabia is Sumou Holding; founding sponsor is Ewaan Global Housing; inaugural sponsor is Aqarat Real Estate Development Company; gold sponsor is Manazel; silver sponsors are Dar Al Tamleek and Norr Group Consultants. The conference investment sponsor is Shuaa Capital. Supporters are the Royal Incorporation of Chartered Surveyors of the UK; the European Public Real Estate Association; the Asian Public Real Estate Association; and the International Real Estate Federation. International media partner is CNN International and regional media partner is Al Arabiya.

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