Saudi Build 2019 in Riyadh receives 23,000 visitors

The exhibition included the participation of 520 major international and local companies from 34 countries.
Updated 16 October 2019

Saudi Build 2019 in Riyadh receives 23,000 visitors

The 31st edition of Saudi Build 2019 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center concluded on Thursday. The exhibition was attended by more than 23,000 visitors, and included the participation of 520 major international and local companies from 34 countries.

Mohammed Al-Asheikh, head of marketing at Riyadh Exhibitions Company (REC), the organizers of the event, said: “Saudi Build 2019 successfully managed to explore the future and phenomenal opportunities which the nation’s largest sector has to offer by bringing together thousands of local and international companies. Additionally, the exhibition hosted three high-level panel discussions that included 18 sessions with more than 20 speakers, in addition to presenting 15 case studies attended by senior government officials and CEOs.”

Activities of the first day were held under the title “The Future of Building in Saudi Arabia.” It included a high-level panel discussion titled “Empowering Innovation in the Leaders and Workforce of the Future.”

Two other sessions on the first day included: “Enhancing Saudi Export Quality and Readiness in the Construction Sector” and “Contracting as a Cornerstone of the Construction Industry.” 

The second day’s activities were titled “Key Project Investments Towards Saudi Vision 2030,” which included a study of the largest international tourism project “The Red Sea Project.”

The session titled “From Vision to Reality — Delivering The Red Sea Project” presented an overview of the project’s timeline and budget. The second session was titled “Business Transformation — Reshaping the Construction Industry to Match Industry 4.0.”

Two other sessions held on the second day included: “The Green Blue Urban Planning Core of Our Future Cities — Smart isn’t Always Technological,” and “Procurement for Mega Projects — Key Challenges and Risks.”

The theme of the third day’s agenda was “Emerging Technologies and Smart Cities — Transforming the Future of Construction.” The audience was introduced through the “3D Construction Printing — A Global Overview” session to the latest technology and its benefits in terms of cost and time savings. 

Other sessions included: “Sustainability in the Concrete Industry: Producing and Certifying Concrete with Low Impact on the Environment,” “Benefits of Off-Site Manufacturing — Changing the Construction Industry,” and “Smart Cities from BIM to CIM.”

One of the most important government initiatives that were showcased in the exhibition was the “Building Technology Stimulus Initiative,” launched by the Ministry of Housing, and the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, and supported by the Private Sector Stimulus Plan.

Positive social impact of COVID-19 in KSA: Survey

Updated 12 August 2020

Positive social impact of COVID-19 in KSA: Survey

A survey commissioned by Al-Aghar Group, an independent Saudi think tank, in partnership with global management consultancy Kearney, has revealed that most thought leaders and decision-makers in the Kingdom anticipate that COVID-19 will be a positive accelerant of the transformation already underway in the Kingdom. The survey focused specifically on the social impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Kingdom through 2025.

Respondents believed that COVID-19 is accelerating the advent of the “future of work” in the Kingdom and more than 65 percent see this as fundamentally positive. About 69 percent see the growing need for the retraining of employees as positive, spurring national adaptation to the new normal. However, the survey also revealed some concerns regarding the security of formal employment and self-employment, with 37 percent seeing the effect of the crisis as negative.

Most survey respondents (70 percent) expect education in the Kingdom to undergo a positive transformation with the adoption of new, innovative, and inclusive modes of learning.

Seventy-eight percent of the respondents believe that the impact of the pandemic on the health care in the Kingdom through 2025 will be highly beneficial.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents believe there will be a wide adoption of telemedicine services in the Kingdom in the near future, as patients gain greater comfort and confidence in this method of consultation with their health providers.

Most respondents believe the health crisis has accelerated the process of digital transformation in the country, particularly in the finance and retail sectors. Seventy-five percent of respondents see the anticipated wider prevalence of e-commerce as positive, and 89 percent see as positive increasing use of cashless payments for face-to-face transactions by 2025.

By 2025, 78 percent of respondents expect that COVID-19 will lead to a significant and welcome (83 percent) step change in government preparedness for future crises. Meanwhile, 68 percent of respondents anticipate a significant impact on government information-sharing and 65 percent anticipate a moderate, but positive change in the willingness of citizens to contribute toward government efforts.

Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Saud, chairman, Al-Aghar Group, said: “Saudi Arabia has a proud history of resilience and has thrived even in the most challenging situations. While this pandemic has severely affected us all, the survey results confirm the depth of our intention to use this current situation to accelerate our national progress.”

Rudolph Lohmeyer, partner and head of National Transformations Institute at Kearney Middle East, said: “The survey results clearly reveal the deep, optimistic resilience of the Saudi people and their implicit commitment to the Kingdom’s national transformation. Despite the near-term hardships caused by the crisis, respondents anticipate that the most significant medium-term impacts will be positive.”