Construction of 70,833 housing units to start soon in Makkah region

Updated 02 January 2013

Construction of 70,833 housing units to start soon in Makkah region

The Makkah region has announced the implementation of residential projects on the first day of the new Gregorian year.
Sultan Al Dosari, spokesman of Makkah region, said that the pace of work is accelerating to build 70,833 units by the Ministry of Housing or secretariats of regions.
“This issue coincided with solving the problem of the shortage in government lands with the efforts of Makkah’s infringements committees, which resulted in retrieving 220 million square meters of land worth SR 86 billion,” said Al Dosari.
He added that the Ministry of Housing and the different secretariats were handed these lands for the purpose of implementing housing developmental projects.
“Housing projects are a positive step toward radically solving the problem of the growing demand on houses. These steps came in accordance with the directions of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and in compliance with the orders of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques,” he said, stressing that they target citizens who are qualified to access loans of the real estate development fund and others wishing to own residential units with affordable monthly payments, as well as those qualified by the Ministry of Social Affairs and other persons reimbursed for their expropriated properties for the benefit of developing slum neighborhoods.
In the same context, the Ministry of Housing announced the implementation of 15,980 residential units in Jeddah, starting with the first of two projects in the city, the Prince Fawaz neighborhood project to build 10,838 residential units, and the airport project that provides 5,142 residential units.
The two projects include the building of 18 mosques, 32 kindergartens, and 30 schools of various grades, in addition to security stations, health and post office centers, public libraries, shopping malls, sports stadiums and public parks.
Prince Fawaz project is located on a land of 567 million sq.m. where a previous housing project still exists, but the remaining space available is 3.9 million sq.m. The second project is located on 2 million sq. m. of land. The ministry intends also to embark on two housing projects in two of the provinces of Makkah, Al Qunfudah, where the ministry will build 593 residential units provided with the necessary public utilities on an area of 597.7 thousand sq. m., and Al Kharma with the building of 260 units with facilities on an area of 231 thousand sq. m.
On the other hand, the Jeddah Development and Urban Regeneration Company (JDURC) — a government agency owned by the Jeddah Municipality — ventured affordable housing projects by launching two projects to build two residential districts in the north and south of Jeddah, which will provide 50 thousand residential units.
The company began the implementation of the first project with its integrated services and facilities to meet the needs of all classes of society. It recently launched construction works in the Suburb project in the Gulf of Salman to the north of Jeddah, and embarked on the implementation of the first phase, which includes 5 thousand residential units. The expected delivery time of the first 1,000 housing units is after 16 months from now.
The suburb project includes 1,250 buildings, with 25,000 units on an area of 3,008,675 sq. m. It combines 24 mosques, a hospital, two medical centers, water treatment station, waste water treatment station, one Red Crescent center, police station, a center for persons with special needs and 7 schools for boys, and further 7 for girls, as well as a school for the memorization of the holy Qur’an, commercial markets, a ballroom, restaurants, galleries, and other facilities.
JDURC allocated 52 percent of the land for houses, 11 percent for malls, shopping centers and public utilities, and 37 percent for roads, open and entertainment spaces, gardens and parking lots.
There are other projects being launched with partnership of the private sector such as Wahaet Makkah (Makkah oasis) project by Al Balad Al Ameen company of Makkah municipality, 14 km away from the Grand Mosque on an area of 670 thousand sq. m. to build 4,000 units. Construction works already started with the first phase of the project.
It is worth mentioning that Land Recovery Committee in Jeddah Governorate, with the cooperation of infringement committees and other competent authorities, recovered 80 million sq. m. of illegally acquired land by an individual who has tricked people into thinking he owns the land. The person in question divided the land, planted it with trees and opened a ten-meter road. But under the direction of Prince Mishaal bin Majed, Jeddah governor, the committee removed all coordinates of the site after notifying the aggressor more than three times.

Saudi health authorities ready to join trials of COVID-19 vaccines

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health is working with a different Chinese company to evaluate whether the vaccine it is developing is effective. (REUTERS)
Updated 22 September 2020

Saudi health authorities ready to join trials of COVID-19 vaccines

  • Ministry of Health and King Abdullah International Medical Research Center have been working with two Chinese drug companies

JEDDAH: King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC) in Saudi Arabia is preparing to take part in advanced trials of one or two COVID-19 vaccines.

About 40 potential vaccines are being tested on humans, nine of which are at the advanced stage of clinical trials to evaluate their safety and effectiveness in protecting people against a virus that has infected more than 31 million people around the world.

The center confirmed its readiness to cooperate with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Health and the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) and participate in tests of one or two of the nine vaccines that are in the third phase of clinical trials, during which large-scale testing on humans takes place.

Dr. Naif Al-Harbi, the head of KAIMRC’s drug-development unit, told Al-Ekhbariya TV news channel that it is unprecedented to have nine vaccines in stage three of clinical trials so soon, less than a year, after the emergence of a new virus.

“Approval or disapproval of any drug normally follows the third stage of its clinical trials, which is the last stage,” he added. “Since the pandemic, KAIMRC has been in continuous contact with a number of drug companies in four countries (that are developing vaccines).”

KAIMRC has been working with one Chinese pharmaceutical company in particular to help evaluate and accelerate the development of its vaccine, he said.

“Over the past two months, we have been in contact with Sinovac to scientifically evaluate its product, in term of the tests on animals and a study of the results of stages one and two on humans,” Al-Harbi said.

He added that the Kingdom’s Ministry of Health is working with a different Chinese company to evaluate whether the vaccine it is developing is effective. A number of factors are taken into consideration when reaching a conclusion.

“We examine the drugs and make sure they have caused no side effects when tested on humans, or that they just caused insignificant side effects,” said Al-Harbi. “We also look into the manufacturing company’s profile to ensure it follows the standards of the good manufacturing practices, and that the company’s products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards.”

He added that SFDA is also doing a great job in ensuring that vaccines are safe, to avoid any risks to the health of people in the Kingdom.

In a message posted on Twitter, KAIMRC said that some countries, such as Russia, China and the UAE, have given doctors the green light to use some vaccines on patients before that have been approved, but only in emergency cases and when the results of early clinical studies indicate that the vaccine is safe.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia announced 27 additional COVID-19-related deaths. The death toll in the country now stands at 4,512.

Meanwhile, 492 new cases have been confirmed in the Kingdom, bringing the total number of people infected by the virus to 330,246. Of those, 14,235 cases remain active and 1,133 patients are in a critical condition.

The Ministry of Health said Makkah recorded the highest number of new cases, with 58, followed by Jeddah with 53, and Madinah with 38.

A further 1,060 people in the Kingdom have recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 311,499. A total of 6,093,601 tests for the virus have been carries out in the country, including 43,652 in the past 24 hours.