Real estate investments rose to 45 percent in Makkah in 2012

Updated 27 February 2013
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Real estate investments rose to 45 percent in Makkah in 2012

There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia’s real estate sector is poised to witness a boom in offering tremendous growth opportunities this year. This is due to the much-anticipated approval of the mortgage law, implementation of affordable housing projects and growth of the hotel and hospitality sector, as the industry further taps into religious tourism, which is expected to contribute to sector growth of more than 20 percent in 2013 alone.
It is for this reason that this year’s Cityscape Jeddah assumes importance. Currently in its fourth successful year, the exceptional event will take place with the support of Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed from March 2-4 at the Jeddah Center for Forums and Events and will include a large exhibition, plus three intensive, interactive days, consisting of 40 top-level management speakers, including CEOs and chairmen, more than 20 interactive panel discussions and case study presentations, round tables to spread knowledge sharing and 7 networking opportunities to increase the possibilities to establish local and international contacts with key stakeholders that are otherwise impossible to reach.
Hussein Al-Harithy, VP and MD, National Exhibitions Company, said,” Among the newest features to be added to the event this year, in addition to the largest Real Estate Exhibition in Saudi Arabia is the Residential & Affordable Housing Summit, the Hotel Investment & Development Summit and the World Architecture Congress Saudi Arabia, which were created to meet everyone’s specific interests and objectives and to be the premier platform for real estate professionals and organizations to meet, network and discuss development and investment opportunities in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and beyond.”
“It has been forecasted by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) that among the most exciting opportunities expected to emerge in the near future will be in the Saudi hotel and hospitality sector. This is due to the government’s enhanced support of the development of the religious tourism industry with forecasts projecting the Kingdom to welcome 15.8 million religious tourists by 2014 and experience growth in tourist arrivals from between 6-8 percent over the next five years. It is for this reason that this year’s Cityscape Jeddah is the only event where local and international brands, that cannot afford to be left out, can gain insight into prime hotel and hospitality sector investment opportunities, unavailable any place else,” Al-Harithy said.
Despite Makkah being the most expensive city in the world, in terms of real estate and land prices, it as well as the Holy city of Madinah, has become one of the most lucrative and attractive investment cities on the globe, in especially enticing international brands.
According to data from the Real Estate Committee of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), real estate investments in 2012 rose to 45 percent in Makkah alone compared to 55 percent in the remaining regions of the Kingdom. This is as a result of the expansion of the holy sites, new Mashaer and Makkah railway projects and completion of the Jamarat Bridge, with Makkah expected to account for half of the country’s real estate investments by the end of this year.
Supporting the government’s vision for growth in the real estate industry, The Jeddah Urban Development and Real Estate Investment Event - Cityscape Jeddah, is expected to attract more than 10,000 visitors.


Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

Updated 41 min 56 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

  • Kingdom is home to three quarters of region's foundations
  • Combined asets of global foundations is $1.5 trillion

Nearly three quarters of philanthropic foundations in the Middle East are concentrated in Saudi Arabia, according to a new report.

The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard Kennedy School’s Hauser Institute with funding from Swiss bank UBS, also found that resources were highly concentrated in certain areas with education the most popular area for investment globally.

That trend was best illustrated in the Kingdom, where education ranked first among the target areas of local foundations.

While the combined assets of the world’s foundations are estimated at close to $1.5 trillion, half have no paid staff and small budgets of under $1 million. In fact, 90 percent of identified foundations have assets of less than $10 million, according to the Global Philanthropy Report. 

Developed over three years with inputs from twenty research teams across nineteen countries and Hong Kong, the report highlights the magnitude of global philanthropic investment.

A rapidly growing number of philanthropists are establishing foundations and institutions to focus, practice, and amplify these investments, said the report.

In recent years, philanthropy has witnessed a major shift. Wealthy individuals, families, and corporations are looking to give more, to give more strategically, and to increase the impact of their social investments.

Organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have become increasingly high profile — but at the same time, some governments, including India and China, have sought to limit the spread of cross-border philanthropy in certain sectors.

As the world is falling well short of raising the $ 5-7 trillion of annual investment needed to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, UBS sees the report findings as a call for philanthropists to work together to scale their impact.

Understanding this need for collaboration, UBS has established a global community where philanthropists can work together to drive sustainable impact.

Established in 2015 and with over 400 members, the Global Philanthropists Community hosted by UBS is the world’s largest private network exclusively for philanthropists and social investors, facilitating collaboration and sharing of best practices.

Josef Stadler, head of ultra high net worth wealth, UBS Global Management, said: “This report takes a much-needed step toward understanding global philanthropy so that, collectively, we might shape a more strategic and collaborative future, with philanthropists leading the way toward solving the great challenges of our time.”

This week Saudi Arabia said it would provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid in Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The UAE also this week said it had contributed $192 million to a housing project in Afghanistan through the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.