At the annual BMG Economic Forum at the London Stock Exchange on July 5, held under the theme “Riyadh: The City of the Future,” a few memoranda of understanding were signed in support of the Saudi government’s efforts to secure affordable housing for everyone.
One MoU will see a company partner with the University of Manchester to spearhead an unprecedented scale-up of graphene-based technologies intended to cut global CO2 emissions substantially. The second involves a leading international construction company that uses in-house proprietary technology to carry out major construction projects with more environmentally friendly approaches, while the third will work toward the development of smart cities.
Residential developments are a top priority for the Kingdom’s housing plan, a cornerstone of its Saudi Vision 2030. The Saudi Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing has been running against time to implement a campaign to achieve its targets through different initiatives.
The National Housing Co. is at the forefront of this campaign. The Riyadh-headquartered real estate development giant seeks to provide affordable housing options via urban communities to meet the aspirations of the current and future generations.
Residential developments are a top priority for the Kingdom’s housing plan, a cornerstone of its Saudi Vision 2030.
Operating as the investment arm of the ministry, the company has contributed to advancing the country’s real estate sector by increasing the housing supply, enhancing the capabilities of property developers and service providers, and providing investment options to owners.
A case in point, earlier this year, it announced the largest new residential suburb project in Riyadh: Al-Fursan Suburb. Al-Fursan Suburb covers an area of 35 million square meters in the northeast of Riyadh. It will include more than 50,000 residential units for over 250,000 people. The second phase of Khuzam Suburb, representing Riyadh’s largest real estate supply, was also announced. Situated in the north of Riyadh, it covers an area of over 21 million square meters. It will include 30,000 residential units for 150,000 people.
These two projects align with the goals of Vision 2030’s Housing Program, including raising the rate of home ownership by Saudi families to 70 percent. Implementing these two megaprojects also meets Riyadh’s endeavor to increase the real estate supply.
The residential suburbs are an extension of the company’s efforts to build modern, vibrant communities with a unique urban character and to provide housing and financing solutions accessible to Saudi families.
On a recent occasion, I had a chat with my dear brother Ihab Hashani, vice minister at the ministry and chairman of the National Housing Co.
He highlighted the ministry’s main housing objectives: raising the standard of living for people across the country and applying the most innovative quality-of-life guidelines across all its projects to achieve sustainability and well-being for its people.
“The focus is on design to maintain our rich heritage and local identity,” he explained.
• Basil M.K. Al-Ghalayini is the chairman and CEO of BMG Financial Group.