Greek engineering and management consulting firm Salfo and Associates SA., which has a strong presence in Saudi Arabia, aims to continue to leverage its unique knowhow and local knowledge to support the Kingdom’s efforts toward achieving Vision 2030’s ambitious goals.
The company’s work in Saudi Arabia covers a wide spectrum of different areas in both the public and private sectors, stretching from urban planning, transportation and PPPs to infrastructure, aviation, cultural heritage as well as project and construction management.
Ioannis Foteinos, CEO of Salfo and Associates S.A., said: “Salfo is the largest Greek engineering consulting firm, and a multinational group with a strong presence in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Cyprus and Eastern Europe. Via its professionalism, along with strong insistence on quality above and beyond conventional expectations, Salfo has played a pivotal role in the transformation of the urban environment and infrastructure in many cities around the world supporting growth and sustainable development.”
Commenting on Salfo’s role in future infrastructure growth in the Kingdom, in the context of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s announcement at the Future Investment Initiative regarding the expansion of Riyadh’s population from 7.7 million to 20-30 million by 2030, Foteinos said: “Capitalizing on our vast experience, Salfo can provide integrated solutions to support the planned growth of the city of Riyadh, combining expertise in urbanism, mobility, IoT and critical infrastructure.”
In the past few years, Salfo has carried out projects of critical importance for the spatial planning of the Kingdom. The company drafted a new Spatial Planning Act that provides the legal framework for a planning system that will support the ambitions of Vision 2030. The act and its supporting regulations are in line with international best practice while being tailored to the Kingdom’s administrative governance, as well as its legal and planning practices.
“The Spatial Planning Act seeks to establish an efficient, effective, transparent, coordinated and accountable spatial planning system, through which the use of land, technical and social infrastructure projects and domestic and foreign investment initiatives can be implemented within a sustainable environment, contributing to a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation, in line with Vision 2030,” the chief executive said.
Moreover, Salfo has recently commenced work on the preparation of strategic plans for three of Saudi Arabia’s frontier regions and their respective capital cities. As the leader of an international consortium, Salfo aims to deliver strategies that will be readily absorbed by the regions and cities and contribute to their post-oil economic development.
Salfo also serves as the designer of Obhur corniche in Jeddah. The project is envisioned as a new landmark for Jeddah, an anchor that will bring the community together in an informal setting, a meeting place for all residents and an attraction venue for its business and leisure travelers. Centered around creation, community, culture and investment, the project constitutes a mixed-use development over an area of 300,000-square-meters focused on nature, green areas, arts, culture and sports, further reinforced by dining and retail offerings.
Salfo is actively involved in the National Road Safety Center in Riyadh. The objective of the NRSC is to contribute to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 by reducing the number of road traffic accidents, injuries and deaths. Saudi Arabia aims to improve the current situation substantially and become one of the top-ranking countries in the sector of road safety.
Foteinos said Saudi Arabia holds exciting potential and opportunities for companies and investors, which has been the driving force behind Salfo’s expansion into Saudi Arabia many years ago.
“Since its founding in 1994 and until 2005, Salfo had participated in all major and pioneering infrastructure projects in Greece and Cyprus such as as highways, railways, ports and buildings. However, Greece, is a small country, both territorially and in terms of population, offering limited prospects in our field. In 2005, all major infrastructure projects were already completed. Being a strong believer of a business model based on extroversion, I was seeking opportunities to expand beyond Greek borders. After much research in the international arena, I decided that the most suitable area that presented huge growth and created expectations for our development was the Middle East. Therefore, in 2006 we established our offices in Abu Dhabi and Doha, Qatar and in 2012, we strengthened our international presence by establishing Salfo Saudi Arabia in Riyadh,” he said.
“Saudi Arabia is a country with a strategic location, a huge wealth of key raw materials for manufacturing and industrial development and a young population of more than 30 million people. The demand of infrastructure projects and the need to diversify its economy beyond oil is great. For all the aforementioned reasons, our decision to be established in the country remains firm and we hope to help inject new dynamism into the economy through infrastructure projects that can help ensure future growth, employment, and prosperity for all Saudis.”
In the Kingdom, the company strives to provide its clients specialized services that cover the whole spectrum of engineering and management consultancy in the following sectors: Urban and regional planning, transportation, cultural heritage, aviation, railway, marine, industrial cities, housing and infrastructure.
Foteinos said Saudi Arabia and Greece can benefit from strategic partnerships and mutual investments in all the aforementioned sectors.
“Since antiquity, the Greeks have preserved historical and cultural ties while maintaining a historic relationship of friendship with the people of the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula. However, due to many reasons, this positive spirit was not translated to a large extent into promoting investment and business activities between the two nations,” he said.
“Nowadays, Greece, as a member of EU, has a lot to offer in regard to infrastructure, services, agriculture and, of course, tourism and cultural heritage. I strongly believe that in the current circumstances, both Saudi Arabia and Greece can only benefit from strategic partnerships and mutual investments in all the sectors mentioned.
“Salfo through its work has constantly tried and will keep trying to highlight the growth opportunities that exist in Saudi Arabia and to further foster this high level of cooperation between the governments and the business communities of Greece and the Kingdom.”
Salfo & Associates S.A. was established in 1994 in Athens by professionals who, over the past 25 years, have distinguished themselves in the field of technical consulting services both in Greece and abroad. Today Salfo has a strong presence in South-Eastern Europe (Greece, Cyprus, Serbia), Malta and the Middle East, with fully operational offices in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh), the UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai), Qatar (Doha), and Oman (Muscat).