5th of May 2014: In the midst of an unprecedented real estate and construction boom that is already changing the face of Jeddah, Cityscape Jeddah 2014 opened its doors on Sunday to a stream of investors, developers and real estate professionals who are intent on making the current construction boom sustainable, socially beneficial and profitable.
Among the more prominent highlights of the exhibition was the unveiling of the Prince Sultan Cultural Centre, a major mixed-use development near Jeddah’s new King Abdullah Sports City and King Abdulaziz International Airport. With plans for a medical city, a major cultural center, schools, high-end hotels, and villas and apartments that will eventually house some 15,000 people, the new development will be a self-contained community that will extend the city limits of Jeddah even farther north.
Mr. Ahmed Al Sanousi, CEO of Prince Sultan Cultural Centre said: “We want to create a new benchmark in Jeddah, something that generations after us can replicate, the prince sultan culture centre masterplan is addressing our vision of creating a wellness community, a community that can live, learn, work, and enjoy, all this at the new heart of Jeddah.”
For those looking for an in-depth analysis of the Jeddah housing market, the Real Estate Summit offered insightful workshops led by distinguished members of the local real estate industry. Zuhair Hamza, Executive Manager of Tamlik, addressed questions regarding government support of the real estate and construction industry, especially in terms of low-cost housing for middle-income families, development of Red Sea destinations for locals and tourists, new construction techniques and an assessment of the contribution of built assets to the national GDP.
One of the better attended workshops centered on issues regarding the need for middle-income housing. Ziad Al Bassam, CEO, Al Basssam Group, joined Gagan Suri of NCB Capital, Abdulaziz Al Abdullah, CEO of Nowayrah Real Estate Development and Neil Tobin, COO, Sedco Real Estate Development to discuss the economics of closing the gap between the demand and supply of less expensive housing. The general conclusion of the panelists and of attendees was that there is a need for the government and the private sector to team up in order to resolve the issue. All panellists agreed that constructing housing priced for low – to middle-income buyers is an extremely difficult undertaking for private companies that, by definition, are seeking profit.
Mr. Gagan Suri revealed during Cityscape that NCB Capital recently joined forces with Sedco Development to launch a new residential real estate fund which was successfully closed after raising SR350 million from investors. “This reflects investors confidence in the successful collaboration between two of the leading investment and real estate companies in the kingdom and sets a new trend in the market.”
As guests discussed talked details and concepts at the Summit, companies on the exhibition floor eagerly presented their newest projects and services to visitors.
Dar al Tamleek, the first company in Saudi Arabia to be granted a real estate finance license, was drawing visitors to its exhibit because, as a company representative explained, people are more attracted to real estate finance companies than banks as they do not require a salary transfer, thus encouraging individuals to benefit from their services. In addition, Dar Al Tamleek offers various finance programs and schemes that cater to different types of customers, especially low and middle income individuals from different sectors (retired, private, public, military, etc.)
Also establishing a major presence at this year’s event is Makkiyoon Urban Developers. The outfit’s main project currently under construction is the Al Tilal (Bait Makkah 40) project on AlHajj Street in Makkah. The project consists of four towers, comprising of more than 850 four-star furnished apartments. “From our participation in Cityscape, we aim to highlight our company’s position as a leading real estate developer,” said Medhat Sayed, Makkiyoon sales manager.
Kinan’s Masharif project has also been attracting plenty of attention. Built on nearly 1 million square meters, the development will offer 2,000 villas and apartments designed for middle income individuals and families. It will also feature shopping facilities, mosques, a police station, a civil defense station and four schools. The company described the life to be lived there as “quiet, joyful and practical.”
Cityscape Jeddah is not limited to Saudi companies, however, and the presence of GCC developers attests to the increasing influence of the Saudi economy on development around the region. For example, Deyaar, an Emirati developer, is showcasing two new residential and mixed use projects that are currently under development.
The Atria comprises two towers that were conceptualized by UK-based design company, ‘yoo Studio’ and will feature studios, one, two and three-bedroom apartments as well as three-bedroom duplexes across 30 floors. Luxury is king at the very well-appointed towers which are to be located in Dubai’s Business Bay.
Deyaar’s other project on display is Central Park at DIFC, a tower consisting of 426 luxury apartments with many green features designed to save electricty and water and conform to guidelines that endorse sustainable standards. According to the company, Central Park reflects the upscale lifestyle and enterprising spirit of its residents.
Supporting the vision for growth in the real estate industry, Cityscape Jeddah 2014 is sponsored by Sumou Real Estate (Principal Sponsor) and Ewaan Global Residential Company (Founding Sponsor) and under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Misha’albin Majed bin Abdulaziz – Governor of Jeddah
Open on 4 – 6 May from 1pm – 10pm, Jeddah Urban Development and Real Estate Investment Event – Cityscape Jeddah is the leading real estate event in the Kingdom, supporting the government’s vision for growth in the real estate industry, highlighting iconic architecture and innovative development, and providing direct access to the region’s biggest real estate market – Saudi Arabia.