Housing expo opens doors for first-time buyers in Saudi Arabia

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Sakani Expo, which will be held until Nov. 23, aims to facilitate real estate loans and help beneficiaries buy their first home. (SPA)
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Sakani Expo, which will be held until Nov. 23, aims to facilitate real estate loans and help beneficiaries buy their first home. (SPA)
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Sakani Expo, which will be held until Nov. 23, aims to facilitate real estate loans and help beneficiaries buy their first home. (SPA)
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Sakani Expo, which will be held until Nov. 23, aims to facilitate real estate loans and help beneficiaries buy their first home. (SPA)
Updated 15 November 2018
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Housing expo opens doors for first-time buyers in Saudi Arabia

  • Sakani Expo, which will be held until Nov. 23, aims to facilitate real estate loans and help beneficiaries buy their first home
  • Through the Mortgage Loan program, Sakani Expo offers financing solutions and products to suit all beneficiary groups

JEDDAH: Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar inaugurated the Sakani Expo residential exhibition at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center on Thursday.
The ceremony was attended by Housing Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al-Huqail.
Sakani Expo, which will be held until Nov. 23, aims to facilitate real estate loans and help beneficiaries buy their first home by bringing together developers, real estate professionals, contractors, government agencies and financing institutions — providing all housing and financing solutions in one place.
Prince Faisal said: “This exhibition promotes the development taking place in the Kingdom and provides citizens with many options as well as information, all of which have the care and support of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“Saudi Arabia has always been full of good and enlightened thinking, through which citizens can lead good lives and own suitable houses,” he said.
Through the Mortgage Loan program, Sakani Expo offers financing solutions and products to suit all beneficiary groups, including retirees, entrepreneurs, private-sector employees and many who were previously unable to get a mortgage.
The Ministry of Housing and the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) organized the exhibition to provide financing solutions to beneficiaries of the Mortgage Loan program, driving the housing sector forward and offering maximum benefit to citizens.
The initiative will also shorten a waiting list of an estimated 48,000 beneficiaries, all of whom will be served by the end of 2020.
REDF approved 85,000 beneficiaries’ requests last year and aims to grant more than 100,000 approvals during 2018 to achieve the goal of the National Transformation Program 2020 to increase the percentage of Saudis owning their homes to 60 percent. That figure is expected to reach 70 percent by 2030.
Sakani Expo will allow beneficiaries to meet with a real estate adviser who will offer residential and financing solutions to suit their needs and capabilities.
A Military Home Loans initiative to be launched during the expo by the Local Content and Private Sector Development Unit aims to make it easier for members of the military their own house by offering an additional loan up to SR140,000 ($37,300), in addition to covering up to SR500,000 of the profits of the financing provided by financiers through the Mortgage Loan program.
The loan will be repaid after repayment of the basic financing — 15-25 years — with premiums scheduled according to monthly income.
The Military Home Loans initiative targets members of the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of National Guard, Saudi Arabian Royal Guard, Presidency of the State Security and the General Intelligence Presidency.
In order to benefit from the initiative, members of the military are encouraged to register or update their data in the “Housing Support” program through the Ministry of Housing or the REDF.


Saudi Crown prince’s India visit will help expand ties beyond energy

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to India will boost robust interactions that New Delhi has established with Saudi Arabia over the last few years. (Supplied)
Updated 20 February 2019
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Saudi Crown prince’s India visit will help expand ties beyond energy

  • New Delhi’s participation in Kingdom’s mega projects a major aspect of renewed ties: Talmiz Ahmad

NEW DELHI: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s first visit to India is a landmark development in bilateral ties between India and Saudi Arabia, according to Talmiz Ahmad, a former ambassador to Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia is India’s largest supplier of crude oil, but since taking office in 2014 Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought to use India’s growing economy to attract more investment from Saudi Arabia beyond energy, and foster cooperation on trade, infrastructure and defense.

Ahmad, author of several books on the Arab world and twice India’s Ambassador to Riyadh, said that while the backbone of New Delhi’s relationship with the Kingdom is energy, the two sides had been discussing “how to give greater substance and longevity to the relationship on the basis of concrete projects.”

Reuters reported this week that India is expecting Prince Salman to announce an initial investment in its National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, a quasi-sovereign wealth fund, to help accelerate the building of ports and highways. Saudi Arabia has also suggested investing in India’s farming industry, with an eye on food imports to the Kingdom. 

Ahmad said Saudi Arabia’s NEOM project, a $500 billion smart city in Tabuk province on the Egyptian and Jordanian borders, would also provide great opportunities for Indian companies. 

He added that Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the crown prince’s blueprint to fundamentally transform Kingdom’s economy, presents another opportunity for Indian businesses to prosper from the relationship.

“India is extremely well placed,” said Ahmad. “We are world leaders in small and medium enterprises and in the services sector. Saudi Arabia also has proposals to develop its tourism and leisure sectors, and I believe India is also well placed in those areas too.”

He also discussed how the strategic partnership had been initiated by former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who visited Riyadh in 2010, but that Modi, who visited in 2016, had added “considerable substance” to the relationship.

He stressed, though, that Riyadh’s ties with India are independent of its relationship with Pakistan. He added India and Saudi Arabia were also working together to improve the security situation in Afghanistan, to resolve the 17-year conflict between government forces and the Afghan Taliban, as well as in the wider West Asia region. 

“India has excellent relations with all the countries in West Asia, and New Delhi is well placed to address some of the concerns that all the countries have with each other,” he said.