50% of land in big cities is vacant

GOOD MOVE: A levy on vacant land is likely to burst the housing bubble.
Updated 17 June 2016

50% of land in big cities is vacant

JEDDAH: Social media websites are abuzz with news about the approval of the fees imposition list by the Council of Ministers on "white", or vacant land.
Real estate expert Abdulhamid Al-Omari said that official data shows that white land account for around 50 to 60 percent of the total land in major cities. He said that the proportion of these plots of land that are actually being used does not exceed 10 percent. However, they have monopolized over 93 percent of real estate deals, which have exceeded SR 2 trillion in value for the past six and a half years.
He said that the huge circulation of money over limited spaces of land has led to high prices as increasing numbers of merchants wish to own these lands, and refuse to sell or develop them. This has led to an empty cycle of land and property inflation, which could lead to very high prices, with an apartment costing as much as SR2.4 million, while a villa could cost up to SR10 million within a span of two years.
He pointed out that after approving the fees list, the situation will be altered because owners won't be able to have the land without conditions or restrictions, and will have to pay fees on their land. The bigger the space, the higher the fees, leaving proprietors with two options: to sell or develop the land, which will increase offers, which stand at 10 percent now. He stressed that if offers increase by 20, 30 or 50 percent or more after the implementation of the list, the monopolies will collapse and prices will decrease even further.
Financial expert and economist Mohammad Al-Suweid said that imposing fees on vacant land will have a positive impact on real estate investment, and facilitates citizens' access to suitable accommodation.
Al-Omari advised property seekers to be careful and wait for the storm to pass and for prices to stabilize. He added that the market has been in a period of decline since 2015 and will witness further decreases under the whip of white land fees, reported Al-Watan.

Saudi Aramco participates in annual India Energy Forum

Updated 5 min 44 sec ago

Saudi Aramco participates in annual India Energy Forum

  • The annual event fosters national and international dialogue on opportunities, challenges and strategies to bring a new energy future for India

JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco has participated at the second India Energy Forum, hosted by CERAWeek, from Oct. 14-16.

The annual event fosters national and international dialogue on opportunities, challenges and strategies to bring a new energy future for India.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources and Saudi Aramco chairman, Khalid A. Al-Falih, took part in the Ministerial Dialogue on Oct. 15.

On the same day, Saudi Aramco Senior Vice President of Downstream Abdulaziz M. Al-Judaimi participated in a panel discussion titled: “Outlook for Refining and Petrochemicals.”

Al-Judaimi noted that relations between the Kingdom and India are growing more strategic. Adding that, being the largest supplier of energy to India, Saudi Aramco has always had a long-term commitment to the country’s energy security.

He said Saudi Aramco is tapping into India’s world-leading growth, by investing in its energy future as part of the company’s own downstream strategy.

He highlighted that the closer cooperation between Saudi Aramco and Indian energy entities was reflected in the partnership with ADNOC and the Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (RRPCL) on the Ratnagiri mega-refinery and petrochemicals complex in Maharashta this year.

He noted that Saudi Aramco's spending on material services sourced from Indian suppliers has reached almost $2 billion in the past six years, and the opening of the Aramco Asia India office in 2017.

He also underscored Saudi Aramco’s role as a catalyst for helping grow India’s oil and gas sector, especially chemicals.

“Investing in India’s value chain from oil supply, marketing and refining to petrochemicals and lubricants is a key part of Saudi Aramco’s global downstream strategy,” said Al-Judaimi.

“Chemicals, especially, can enhance India’s energy sector, adding long-term value to the country’s resources, providing quality products for India’s and Asia’s rapidly expanding middle classes, and positioning India for accelerated economic growth as a manufacturing hub – all of which align with Saudi Aramco’s own intent to expand our global business portfolio and downstream network.”

Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco has participated in the 2nd Supply Chain and Logistics Conference organized by the Ministry of Transport in Riyadh.

Saudi Aramco’s Senior Vice President of Operations & Business Services Mohammad Saggaf has underscored the importance of creating a logistics hub in the Kingdom.

“The role played by the supply and logistics sector has gained increasing importance in both scope and value. The sector now represents about $4.3 trillion of the world’s economy. It impacts other industrial, commercial and service sectors and has adopted many new advanced technologies.”

He also revealed that Saudi Aramco’s partnership with the General Institution for Technical Trianing has led to the etsbalishement of more than 18 training academies as part of the company’s plan to train 300,000 trainees by 2030.