Shortage of 1.7m homes claimed

Updated 26 March 2016

Shortage of 1.7m homes claimed

SEOUL/RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and South Korea have signed an agreement to build 100,000 houses over the next 10 years in the north of Riyadh costing SR75 billion.
Housing Minister Majed bin Abdullah Al-Hogail inked the pact with the South Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Infrastructure in Seoul on Thursday. The agreement includes an exchange of expertise through workshops and conferences. The joint consortium has two major South Korean companies, Daewoo Engineering and Construction Company and Hanwha Engineering and Construction Corporation, with Saudi Pan Kingdom Company.
The houses would be built as part of a residential city over 38 sq. km, 14 km south of King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh. The final agreement will be signed in October in Riyadh.
Meanwhile, Abdullah bin Suaidan, a prominent Saudi real estate businessman and expert, has claimed that there is a shortage of about 1.7 million houses in the Kingdom and 130,000 in Riyadh.
Bin Suaidan, who chairs the Riyadh-based Salman bin Abdullah bin Suaidan Real Estate Group, made this comment in a seminar on the future of real estate as a safe investment in the Kingdom, organized by the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday.
He said that while there are 1.3 million units currently available in the market, the vast majority of citizens cannot afford them.
Bin Suaidan said property in the Kingdom remained a safe investment, with stability rather than major growth, despite the fall in oil prices and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Yemen.
“These developments are affecting government’s expenditure, but despite this real estate in the Kingdom is stable and even seeing some growth, although not like before.”
He said he would advise investors to place their money in the Kingdom rather than Egypt, UAE or Turkey.
Commenting on the government’s decision to impose a tax on vacant land, he said this decision would not affect the price of real estate. This was because the government has declared that the tax was not a punitive measure, but aimed at bringing balance to the market and solving the housing shortage. “We don’t believe that the government has imposed this tax to harm around 130 stakeholders in the sector.”


Operation to separate Libyan Siamese twins begins in Saudi Arabia

A 35-member medical and surgical team began the operation to separate Siamese twins Ahmed and Mohammed in the morning. (SPA)
Updated 7 min 44 sec ago

Operation to separate Libyan Siamese twins begins in Saudi Arabia

  • The success rate of the operation is estimated at 70 percent

RIYDAH: An operation headed by a Saudi medical team to separate Libyan Siamese twins began on Thursday at King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh.

A 35-member medical and surgical team – led by Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah – began the operation to separate Siamese twins Ahmed and Mohammed in the morning.

The success rate of the operation, which takes up to 15 hours and is performed through 11 stages, is estimated at 70 percent.