JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Monday 25 February 2013
Last update 27 February 2013 10:42 pm
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.