KSA seeks to solve housing crisis with 3D-printed homes

This apartment building was printed by Shanghai-based WinSun 3D. (Courtesy: 3DPrint.com)
Updated 06 August 2016
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KSA seeks to solve housing crisis with 3D-printed homes

RIYADH: Saudi officials have begun studying the use of 3D-printed houses as a way to solve the housing crisis in the Kingdom, which is expected to affect some 1.5 million people during the next five years. The homes are printed in prefabricated panels, which are fit together on site.
Saudi officials met with representatives of WinSun Decoration Design Engineering, a Chinese company that specializes in 3D printing, to explore the possibilities of this technology and to discuss how it could be used by the Ministry of Housing and other government bodies, as well as by research and development companies.
The firm gave a presentation on its skills and showed models for houses that have already been built in a number of countries, in addition to a building that was opened in the UAE last May. They also shared information on the first 3D-printed building in the Gulf — Future Office.
Following the high-profile meeting, it was not clear whether a deal will be signed to make this technology part of the housing crisis solution in Saudi Arabia.
The company’s representatives, however, said the use of 3D technology decreases the cost of labor by 70 percent and decreases construction waste by 60 percent.
The technology mixes waste construction material, glass, steel and cement together to form the houses, which is then sprayed on each surface to form a solid wall. According to the company, a unit can be printed in one day, and a small house can be built in just 30 minutes.
Dubai is the first city in the Gulf to use this technology. It says by 2030, 25 percent of its homes will be 3D printed.


Lights, camera, action: Gala heralds rebirth of Saudi cinema

Updated 19 April 2018
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Lights, camera, action: Gala heralds rebirth of Saudi cinema

  • Saudi Arabia plans to open nearly 350 cinemas, with more than 2,500 screens, by 2030
  • Movie theaters are expected to contribute more than $24 billion to the Saudi economy and create more than 30,000 jobs by 2030

RIYADH: It was a night to remember: Cinema returned to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday with the first major movie screening in 35 years in a spectacular new theater in King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh.
The gala screening of the Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther was attended by hundreds of invited guests in the sleek and chic complex — described by AMC cinema chain bosses as “the most beautiful movie theater in the world.”
As the guests took their seats, Princess Reema bint Bandar told Arab News: “It’s a privilege to be here. I hope everyone gets to enjoy the experience I’m having this evening.”
In an official opening ceremony before the movie began, AMC bosses joined Saudi government officials on the stage. Each placed their hand each on a large handprint, triggering a shower of glittering, colorful confetti on the audience. It was a magical moment — just like the movies, in fact.
Paul Hill, the general manager of AMC, told Arab News: “It’s an absolute honor and privilege to be part of the opening It’s a historic achievement. This really will be the place to go.”
The opening was overseen by the Development and Investment Entertainment Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and a partner with AMC in the new cinema complex.
Dr. Awwad Alawwad, the Saudi Minister of Culture and Information, and Adam Aron, chief executive and president of AMC Entertainment, joined diplomats and industry experts to watch Black Panther in the first in a series of invitation-only screenings during April.
“I know for sure that Saudis are very eager to be able to watch their favorite films here in their own country, as now made possible by Vision 2030,” Dr. Alawwad said before the screening.
“This is a landmark moment in the transformation of Saudi Arabia into a more vibrant economy and society. None of this would be possible without the visionary leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”
The cinema will open to the public on Friday. “There are some surprises and secrets on how we are promoting it. The tickets will be sold online and there will be more information in 24 hours,” said AMC Vice President Jason Cole.
Three more screens will be added to the cinema complex by September. Saudi Arabia plans to open nearly 350 cinemas, with more than 2,500 screens, by 2030.