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Experts to discuss Saudi housing issue

Jeddah, April 7, 2012

Leading real estate experts from the region will be in Saudi Arabia this week for a key round table that will discuss the Kingdom’s affordable housing issues and also ways to tackle the problem.

Lack of supply of affordable homes is a concern in the Middle East as a whole and no more so than Saudi Arabia, said Cityscape, the organisers of CityscapeConnect Business Breakfasts networking event.

The Business Breakfasts will be held at the Mövenpick Hotel in Al Khobar on April 8 and the Jeddah Hilton Hotel on April 9 starting from 9am.

“Saudi's real estate sector is now maturing as it begins to fulfill the high expectations of investors. The CityscapeConnect Business Breakfasts serve as a prelude to the annual Cityscape Jeddah event in June 2012 with its unique portfolio of exhibition and summits which is in line with the Government’s vision for growth in the real estate industry,” remarked Deep Marwaha, the group director of Cityscape.

Key panelists at the Al-Khobar Business Breakfast are Dr. Bassam M. Boodai, MD & CEO of Jenan Real Estate Company; Eng. Khalid M. Telmesani, MD & CEO of Sumou Real Estate; and Abdulaziz K. Al Shaibani, CEO of Al Oula Real Estate Development Company.

The Jeddah event will have experts such as Gagan Suri, VP, Head of Real Estate, Asset Management at NCB Capital: Martin Cooper, Director & Head of Advisory - Middle East at DTZ; and Zuhair Hamzah, Executive Manager of Tamlik Company among many others.

The event is a platform that provides real estate investors and developers with an opportunity to network while gaining valuable market insight from a panel of real estate experts.

According to various studies and analysis, the discrepancy between supply and demand of housing units in Saudi Arabia is significant. Such huge demand for new residential properties in Saudi Arabia has led to the establishment of the Ministry of Housing in 2011.

CityscapeConnect Business Breakfast held in Al-Khobar is being sponsored by Al Oula real estate company.

Commenting on the market’s lack of sufficient affordable housing, Abdulaziz Al Shaibani CEO of Al Oula, said: 'The government’s strategy is dependent on private developers’ willingness and capability to provide affordable housing. On the other hand, significant challenges still remain in the local markets, to make affordable housing feasible due to the huge demand gap that is outstripping supply, in addition to legislative obstacles.'

'However, given the fundamental demand driver, there should be significant opportunities for investors and developers to achieve sizeable returns. As for the real estate market in general, strong population growth continued economic development and diversification are set to ensure robust demand for all types of real estate over the coming decade,' he stated.
 
Commenting on the housing needs of the eastern province, Jenan’s MD & CEO Dr Bassam Boodai said: “It is expected that the Eastern Province will require around 150,000 housing units by 2014, which is the highest demand in the Kingdom.”

 Looking at the overall picture he went on to say: “According to the Central Department of Statistics and Information, Saudi’s population is growing at a rate of 3.2 per cent and with about 60 per cent of Saudi population under the age of 30 the private and public sector needs to take serious action to cater for the ever increasing demand.

The government has already taken decisive action to tackle the problem by injecting SR250 billion into affordable housing and now it’s up to the private sector to accommodate the demand. A collaboration between the private sector and the government will be the most effective approach to meet the increasing demand in a record time.”

Marwaha pointed out that in addition to affordability in the residential market, the Business Breakfasts will cover the need for innovative financing models to secure the funds for project development in the current climate, profitability structures for public-private partnership models, and the cost of land for developing affordable housing projects in attractive locations.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Saudi | Cityscape | Experts | issue | discuss | affordable housing |

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