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Vision 2030: Saudi real estate, infrastructure projects top $1.1T

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Since the launch of Vision 2030 reforms in 2016, the total value of Saudi Arabia’s real estate and infrastructure projects has exceeded $1.1 trillion, according to property consultancy Knight Frank.

Across the country, 555,000 new residential units, more than 275,000 hotel rooms, 4.3 million square meters of retail space, and 6.1 million square meters of office space are expected by 2030, the company said in a statement published on Tuesday.

A spate of building projects launched in recent years includes 15 ‘giga-projects,’ the most notable of which are the planned NEOM megacity, the Red Sea Project, and the redevelopment of the historic city Diriyah in western Riyadh.

The construction boom will turn the Kingdom into the “largest construction site the world has ever known,” said Faisal Durrani, Partner at Knight Frank.

NEOM is set to add an estimated 300,000 new homes to the country’s stock and is the most popular choice among Saudis looking to invest in one of the new megaprojects, according to a Knight Frank survey published in February.

To date, $7.5 billion worth of sub-projects have been commissioned for NEOM, with construction progress standing at 29 percent, according to Knight Frank’s Head of Real Estate Strategy and Consulting for Saudi Arabia Harmen de Jong.

In Riyadh alone, real estate projects worth $104 billion have been announced over the last six years.

The capital is expected to see continued population growth in the next decade, more than doubling from an estimated 7.5 million to between 15 and 20 million by 2030, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said during the fourth edition of the Future Investment Initiative summit in 2021.

As well as the Diriyah development that could add 20,000 new homes, Riyadh expects a new $146 billion international airport.

Knight Frank estimates that 46 percent of construction has been completed on the $5 billion spent on the $20 billion Diriyah project so far.

Grade A office occupancy levels across Riyadh are reportedly hovering at around 97 percent, signaling a real need for the planned development of 2.8 million square meters of office space.

House prices in Riyadh are also soaring, standing 26 percent higher than this time last year.

Other major projects include the $500 million Riyadh Sports Boulevard and the $23 billion ‘Green Riyadh’ initiative that aims to plant 7.5 million trees across the city.

The city is also expected to host a new 10-square-kilometre ALNAMA Smart City, which will be the capital’s first zero-carbon city, housing some 44,000 people when completed

In the east of the country, the Dammam Amanat al-Sharqiya project expects to see 650,000 square meters of the city’s corniche redeveloped.

A further 19,000 hospital beds worth $13.8 billion, and 80 new educational institutions worth $82 billion are also planned.

“A bold new vision is unfolding in Saudi Arabia,” said Durrani. “The phenomenal transformation taking place in the world’s fastest-growing economy is clearly visible across the entire urban landscape.”

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