Ninth batch of Saudi Sakani program launched

Sakani program is continuing to provide residential units to help citizens own suitable housing solutions. (SPA)
Updated 16 September 2018
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Ninth batch of Saudi Sakani program launched

  • 5,961 housing units under development have been allocated to Riyadh

JEDDAH: The Housing Ministry and the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) announced the launching of the 9th batch of the Sakani housing program for 2018, aiming to allocate 300,000 housing and financial products across the Kingdom.
This batch have benefited 33,472 citizens, and the financing and residential products this year number more than 215,000, including 74,700 mortgage loans, 63,222 free lands, 2,384 ready residential units, 67,367 units under development and 8,000 purchases of units on the market. Meanwhile, the total number of financing and residential products announced since the launching of the program in the beginning of 2017 has exceeded 500,000.
The ministry announced details of the residential products and their geographic allocation during a press conference held at the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) media headquarters. The batch included 8,300 mortgage loans, 5,961 housing units under development in partnership with real estate developers, and 11,211 free-of-charge land parcels. It also announced that 8,000 citizens will benefit from buying ready units on the market.
According to the 9th batch data, 5,961 housing units under development have been allocated to Riyadh, while the free-of-charge lands provided by the ministry were distributed as follows: 685 in Riyadh, 2,657 in Makkah, 5,200 in Asir, 650 in Tabuk, 521 in the northern border region, 620 in Jizan, 773 in Al-Jouf and 105 in Baha. The beneficiaries of the REDF are distributed as follows: 2,189 in Riyadh, 1,346 in Makkah, 1015 in the Eastern Province, 724 in Qassim, 706 in Madinah, 609 in Asir, 311 in Najran, 308 in Hail, 299 in Tabuk, 234 in the northern border region, 228 in Al-Jouf, 169 in Jazan, 162 in Baha.
The purchasing of ready units on the market included 1,924 in Riyadh, 1,950 in Makkah, 2,355 in the Eastern Province, 515 in Asir, 463 in Madinah, 382 in Qassim, 266 in Hail and 145 in Tabuk.
Mohammed bin Saud Al-Ghazwani, general supervisor of the real estate development sector at the Housing Ministry, said that Sakani program is continuing to provide residential units to help citizens own suitable housing solutions.

He stressed that the program is also continuing to implement its policy in increasing the allocation numbers progressively, by injecting more diverse units, at prices between SR250,000 ($67,000) and SR750,000, in a comprehensive housing environment, along with other diverse products, as part of the ministry’s efforts to increase the ownership rate to 60% by 2020 within the objectives of the Iskan program.


Saudi Crown Prince takes Pakistan bond ‘to new level’

Updated 18 February 2019
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Saudi Crown Prince takes Pakistan bond ‘to new level’

  • Asseri said Saudi Arabia has deferred payments on oil worth billions of US dollars from time to time in order to ease pressure on the Pakistan economy
  • Pakistan’s relatively young population is also hoping for a stronger relationship with the Kingdom

RIYADH: A major transformation is underway in Saudi Arabia’s economic relationship with Pakistan, according to Dr. Ali Awadh Asseri, a former ambassador to Islamabad.

In a wide-ranging interview with Arab News, the former envoy said greater interaction between business and the private sectors in both countries will take the historical bond “to a new level.” 

Asseri, who spent nine years in Islamabad and was the second-longest serving Saudi ambassador to the country, said: “We know that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have always enjoyed an incomparable level of understanding and friendship based on religion, culture and values. There is a historical bond between the two countries. 

“I have no doubt that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is taking a cohesive approach to strengthen the relationship and take it to another level.” 

Asseri said that while Saudi Arabia and Pakistan cooperated closely on security matters, bilateral trade between the countries remained limited to about $4 billion. 

“We need to ... encourage the private sectors to interact more. We can help Pakistan’s industry and we need to become more involved in the trade sector. There are advanced industries and firms in Pakistan, and they have raw materials — it’s a good environment for investors.”

Asseri said Saudi Arabia has deferred payments on oil worth billions of US dollars from time to time in order to ease pressure on the Pakistan economy. The Kingdom is also making billion-dollar direct investments in the country in line with the China-Pakistan economic corridor. 

“I am happy to see a major transformation underway in Saudi-Pakistani economic relationships with our leadership and government deciding to invest in the economic development of Pakistan,” he said. 

The former ambassador said frequent official visits between the two countries were important. 

“I came back recently from Pakistan, and the vibe of the media, government and people was so optimistic. Pakistanis were excited about the crown prince’s visit. People hope it will bring great opportunities for the economy as well as strengthening the political and social ties between the two countries,” he said.

Asseri said Saudi Arabia and Pakistan had faced many challenges together in recent decades.

In 2001, during Asseri’s first year as Saudi ambassador in Pakistan, the 9/11 attacks on New York led to greater cooperation between Islamabad and Riyadh in dealing with terrorism.

The Kingdom had been closely involved with Pakistan since its independence, he said. “King Abdul Aziz sent King Saud and Prince Faisal to Pakistan at that time. So if we go back through history, we can see that this relationship is truly unique.” 

Asseri also highlighted the ties between the two countries on humanitarian issues, security and military issues, saying: “Pakistan has suffered serious security and humanitarian consequences of the decades-long war in Afghanistan, besides housing millions of Afghan refugees.

“Together Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have worked for peace in Afghanistan and will do whatever it takes to achieve this long-desired goal.”

Asseri said Pakistanis were quick to show their appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s assistance in the past regardless of the change in Pakistani leadership over the years. 

“The relationship is unique because it is between people. Such a relationship (will) keep growing with every generation.

“When Pakistan was in a difficult position in 2005 after a devastating earthquake, Saudi Arabia went out of its way to provide the support it needed. Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz and eight ministers visited Balochistan. Field hospitals were created with Saudi doctors treating people and performing surgery there.” 

Pakistan also has a deep loyalty to Saudi Arabia, Asseri said. “Pakistan has military expertise, and through cooperation between the two countries, it helped the Saudi military during its development.” 

“The Kingdom’s recent appointment of a Saudi commercial attache in Pakistan will also bolster the economic links between the two countries,” he said. 

“There are good minds in Pakistan and good products that could be manufactured in Saudi Arabia.”

Asseri said he is also optimistic that Saudi plans to build a major oil refinery in Gwadar will help create an “economic hub.” 

The former envoy said the Saudi crown prince’s visit to Pakistan will add to the relationship between the countries. 

Pakistan’s relatively young population is also hoping for a stronger relationship with the Kingdom. 

“Young Pakistanis who are advanced in the IT and industrial sectors are looking forward to helping and cooperating with Saudi Arabia, and sharing their experiences and knowledge,” he said.