Qiddiya CEO: Work underway on key mixed-use real estate project

Qiddiya CEO: Work underway on key mixed-use real estate project
Qiddiya Investment Co. is fully owned by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund and is subject to Saudi laws. The project is located an hour from King Khalid International Airport. (Photo/QIC)
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Updated 11 January 2021

Qiddiya CEO: Work underway on key mixed-use real estate project

Qiddiya CEO: Work underway on key mixed-use real estate project
  • Progress so far unaffected by COVID-19: Philippe Gas

QIDDIYA: Qiddiya Investment Co. (QIC) is developing a key real estate project within Qiddiya that will include residential, commercial and office units to attract companies, CNBC Arabia reported, citing CEO Philippe Gas.
The project has a main sports component, which will be developed in cooperation with the Saudi Ministry of Sports, in order to host part of the activities of the Asian Games.
QIC will commence work for the first phase of the project this year. Infrastructure works carried out so far have not been affected by COVID-19, Gas said.
A number of activities will be inaugurated by 2023, such as the Six Flags park and an entertainment area, he said, adding that real estate developments and other assets are also being planned.
QIC will work with Saudi firms to develop the local economy, while international companies will be sought only in the event of lack of local expertise.
The project is receiving global attention, with in-depth discussions being held with potential investors across various sectors, which is key for diversifying the Saudi economy, said Gas.
Qiddiya is part of the Kingdom’s tourism strategy and represents a hub for attracting tourists, especially in light of Riyadh’s population growth, he added.
The project comprises 500 employees, 60 percent of whom are Saudis, with a plan to increase their number over the coming years, Gas said.
QIC is fully owned by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund and is subject to Saudi laws. The project is located an hour from King Khalid International Airport and 40 minutes from the center of Riyadh, covering an area of 334 sq. km.


Flagship Huawei store in Saudi Arabia will be its biggest outside China

Flagship Huawei store in Saudi Arabia will be its biggest outside China
Terry He, the CEO of Huawei Tech Investment in Saudi Arabia, said the Kingdom is a very important market for the company. (AFP)
Updated 45 min 13 sec ago

Flagship Huawei store in Saudi Arabia will be its biggest outside China

Flagship Huawei store in Saudi Arabia will be its biggest outside China

RIYADH/JEDDAH: Chinese tech firm Huawei has signed an agreement with Kaden Investment for the launch in Saudi Arabia of its largest store outside China.
During the signing ceremony, at the Ministry of Investment headquarters in Riyadh, Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih highlighted the importance of investment in information and communications technology, along with energy and entertainment, which are important pillars of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 development plan.
He said that the agreement with Huawei is a symbol of the prosperity that comes from long-term partnerships, in this case a 20-year relationship with the Chinese business. It is a “long-standing digital partner and ahead of the curve” in spotting the potential offered by the Kingdom, he added.
“Huawei has played an instrumental role in Saudi Arabia’s development, collaborating with government and private enterprises to enhance our nation’s technological infrastructure,” said Al-Falih. “It continues to share our commitment to talent development, innovation and ambition, the values which underpin Vision 2030.”
Terry He, the CEO of Huawei Tech Investment in Saudi Arabia, said the Kingdom is a very important market for the company.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce the next step in Huawei’s commitment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to open the largest Huawei flagship store in the overseas market,” he added. “This will provide customers with an unprecedented, immersive full-scenario experience.”
Fahad Alarjani, a member of the Saudi Chinese Business Council, welcomed the agreement as a “huge success” for the Ministry of Investment, in collaboration with other Saudi ministries, in attracting high-tech investments to Saudi Arabia, “especially given that Huawei is considered a technology giant in China and the world.”
Alarjani, a doctorate-level scholar in sustainable entrepreneurship, SMEs development, and marketing strategies, said it is important that agencies in the Kingdom work together to create a fertile, world-leading environment for investors so that they can attract the latest, and sustainable, technological innovations.
“This will help to open new markets and speed up entrepreneurial development,” he added. “It is important to be aware of the fact that Chinese companies are working hard on being pioneers of 5G.”

The agreement with Huawei is a symbol of the prosperity that comes from long-term partnerships, in this case a 20-year relationship with the Chinese business.

Khalid Al-Falih, Investment minister

Saleh M. Al-Saleem, a professor of computer and information sciences at King Saud University, said: “The agreement will definitely entail training programs to transfer technology, and an investment by a company of this size in the Saudi market is an acknowledgment on its part of the huge size of the technological sector in the Kingdom.”


He added that the agreement opens the door for increased competition between the biggest international companies in the sector, and will contribute to lower costs and enhanced services in the Kingdom.
Saudi consumers also expressed excitement about the news. Pharmaceutical science graduate Ruwaid Mahalawi, 29, who lives in Jeddah and describes himself as a Huawei fan, said: “It’s nice to see big names coming into Saudi Arabia and this is only the start — it will inspire more companies to invest in the Kingdom and recognize the market is extremely welcoming.”
Saudis are a very tech savvy society, he said. “Children and adults alike use electronic devices — especially now, with the pandemic — whether it’s for work or schooling. I think it’s shedding light on how big the market is here.”
Mahalawi’s wife, 26-year-old Wajd Abdullah, is also a fan of the Chinese firm and said she ditched her iPhone for a Huawei Mate. She appreciates the added level of service that is provided when a tech brand sells its products through its own stores, rather than through third-party retailers.
“It’s always best when a brand’s own store opens,” she said. “You don’t have to worry about insurance for the gadgets or quality. The store staff will be more knowledgeable and helpful, too, and that helps to ensure customers will return.”
An opening date for the new store, which will be in Riyadh, has yet to be announced.