DUBAI – Fahd Bin Abdul Mohsin Al-Rasheed, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar, the company contracted to build the King Abdullah Economic City in Rabegh, has said that a new housing project will provide homes for 55,000 people of medium income.
The project will be put out for tender next year when its designs are completed, Al-Rasheed added.
The senior Emaar official, speaking during the last day of Dubai’s Cityscape exhibition on Thursday, put the value of the whole Economic City project at SR375 billion, which accounts for infrastructure and properties following the area extension to 168 million square meters. The city has received several offers from Gulf and international companies to work on its development, he added.
Al-Rasheed said 15 remaining Bay La Sun project plots will be opened for real estate development by local, Gulf and international developers over the next few months, signaling the first property investments inside the city not belonging to Emaar.
Al-Rasheed also said that the Kingdom’s real estate market would not be affected by the global mortgage crisis for a number of reasons, the most important being that the central Saudi bank is very conservative in its lending policies – including loans granted to people by banks – and high oil revenues are enabling Emaar to fund its projects and give the Saudi economy the boost it needs over the coming years.
He further pointed to a shortage in housing units, saying the Kingdom would need more than 6 million housing units over the next 12 years, a figure that exceeds units built in the past 50 years.
Real estate estimates presented at the exhibition showed a 15 percent increase in the Kingdom’s real estate market over the next year.
Al-Rasheed expected a decrease in the price of building materials in the Kingdom, noting that Saudi Arabia would survive the global crisis through its purchasing power and its need for more housing units.
He labeled the Cityscape exhibition as “one of the most important real estate exhibitions in the world because of the developments taking place in the world today in terms of finance and real estate.” – Okaz