New tax will hit ‘a few land owners’

Updated 29 November 2015

New tax will hit ‘a few land owners’

RIYADH: The real estate sector is upbeat about the recent Cabinet decision to impose a 2.5 percent tax annually on vacant land in urban areas, saying that the move will create investment opportunities and generate employment.
Only a handful of big parties who are clinging on to a wide expanse of land in various areas of the Kingdom, in the hope of making money, will be adversely affected, said a real estate company official.
“The Cabinet decision had an immediate impact on the large real estate development company’s stock prices. Current reports show that three of the largest companies are prone to be severely affected as they own a total of 64 million square meters of land, out of which 64 percent is owned by Dar Al-Arkan alone,” said Abdul Aziz bin Yousef, CEO of a real estate company.
Salman bin Saedan, CEO of another real estate company in Riyadh, said stakeholders in the sector are celebrating the new tax. “Although it may appear unfavorable to some landowners now, the new tax will actually establish more reliable market pricing. This will add stability in the market for landowners, developers and ultimately customers,” he said.
“Liberating land will give developers the opportunity to plan and build homes at modest prices. Our government policymakers had long ago identified urban land to fulfill the housing needs of citizens. Thankfully, the new tax will go a long way in utilizing abundant land lying vacant in our cities.”
Mazen Al-Sudairi, group head of a research firm, said the Cabinet decision will not only help the market, but also the economy. “When the law comes into effect in 180 days, you will notice the difference. The real estate will turn from a sector to an industry, creating employment and investment opportunities,” he said.


Saudi Arabia, Russia sign agreements during Vladimir Putin visit to Riyadh

Updated 14 October 2019

Saudi Arabia, Russia sign agreements during Vladimir Putin visit to Riyadh

  • King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcome Russian leader at Al-Yamamah Palace
  • 20 deals of cooperation were signed between the two countries

DUBAI: Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Riyadh on Monday on his first visit since 2007, and was welcomed to Al-Yamamah Palace by Saudi King Salman as well as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar earlier personally welcomed the Russian leader as he disembarked from his aircraft at King Khalid International Airport.

An official welcoming ceremony was held in honor of Putin and various agreements were signed between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Russia including an oil cooperation pact.

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READ MORE: Dedicated Arab News ‘Putin in Saudi Arabia’ spotlight

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Some 20 agreements were signed between the two countries, in a ceremony overseen by the king, crown prince, Putin and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF and Saudi Arabia's SALIC signed an agreement to team up in searching for investment projects in the Russian agricultural sector, RDIF said in a statement on Monday.

A string of multi-million-dollar investment contracts were also signed in the aerospace, culture, health and advanced technology sectors.

Putin’s “long-awaited” visit will include discussions on “further cooperation to stabilize prices on the world carbohydrate market” as well as the situation in Syria, the Gulf and Yemen.

The Russian leader, in an interview with Arab broadcasters and aired on Sunday ahead of his arrival, described the “very good relations” with the Saudi leadership.

“We consider Saudi Arabia a friendly nation. I have very good relations with both the King and the Crown Prince,” Putin said, and noted the improved bilateral relations between both countries.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Vladimir Putin visits Saudi Arabia

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Putin in the interview likewise condemned the Sept. 14 attacks on Aramco facilities, and said “such actions do not bring any positive results to anybody, including perpetrators,” as they do not have a strong effect on the market.

“We condemn any such actions, end of story. This is the official position … regardless of who stood behind the incident,” the Russian president commented.

A forum attended by Saudi Arabian and Russian business leaders and government officials earlier Monday resulted in the signing of several agreements between companies of both countries.

(Developing)