Saudi Arabia’s real estate landscape is poised for a major boost following announcements by The Saudi Entertainment Ventures Company (SEVEN), a fully-owned subsidiary of Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), for a second mega entertainment hub in the capital, Riyadh, and $20 billion of investment through 2035 for a landmark Al-Ula tourism destination in the Kingdom’s north west.
The Al-Ula project will leverage the area’s cultural heritage, which features rock sculptures embodying Nabatean stone carvings and is aimed at attracting up to two million overseas and domestic visitors annually with about 1,000 hotel rooms plus desert camps in the pipeline.
“This is yet another major stride in the Kingdom’s determination to develop modern leisure destinations and opens up huge potential for resort and residential developers,” said Chris Speller, Cityscape Group Director at Informa Exhibitions, which organises the Cityscape series. “The Royal Commission for Al-Ula expects targeted investments to eventually generate 35,000 jobs – this workforce will require office and residential accommodation, while the destination will likely attract domestic investors who may wish to have second homes there.”
According to Dana Salbak, Associate, JLL Mena, “The entertainment and tourism industry are set to witness ongoing activity on the back of major large-scale project announcements such as Amaala, NEOM and Al Qiddiya.”
“Meanwhile the retail market is undergoing significant change in the Kingdom on the back of cinemas making a return and the growth of ‘shoppentertainment’ which is likely to see innovative, unique and international concepts tap into the Saudi retail market. Ultimately, both these sectors are expected to play a significant role in driving Saudi Arabia’s non-oil economic growth. They are also likely to generate more job opportunities especially for women,” continued Balbak.
The move towards entertainment destinations will be a hot topic of discussion among others at the Cityscape Jeddah platform, the eighth edition of Jeddah’s largest real estate exhibition taking place on April 5-7, at the Jeddah Centre for Forum & Events. Cityscape Jeddah is being held under the patronage of His Excellency Majid bin Abdullah Al-Hogail, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Housing.
“More than 20 regional sector experts will be taking addressing the free-to-attend workshops to drill down into pressing issues which are impacting the Kingdom’s real estate segment,” explained Mohaned Yaman, Exhibition Manager of Cityscape Jeddah. “Delegates will gain a thorough understanding of the market in the Kingdom, including tourism and entertainment.”
Saudi Arabia’s National Vision 2030 strategy for will be in spotlight with delegates keen to understand how it is shaping foreign investor sentiment and plans to capture a large slice of the growing Halal and religious tourism market.
Also, up for discussion will be the role of international standards in creating confidence in the Kingdom’s real estate market with delegates taking lessons from Egypt’s experience in a special country focus panel debate.
“The hottest issues will be examined, including development trends, the investment hotspots and the technological evolution which could shape the competitiveness and execution of the new Saudi projects,” added Yaman. “Insights will come from some of the region’s biggest development names including Solidere, Arton Capital and Aldar Properties.”
Cityscape Jeddah will bring together more than 40 top local and international developers to showcase the latest real estate opportunities and unveil hundreds of new projects from across the property spectrum to investors and homebuyers, who will represent more than 50 per cent of the anticipated 8,000 visitors.
The 2019 Cityscape Jeddah event series will also see the return of the Cityscape Jeddah Awards, which celebrate excellence in real estate development and architecture across 16 categories for both Built and Future projects with the winners being announced on April 7.
Aldar is this year’s Principal Sponsor, Global Citizenship Partner is Arton Capital, and real estate experts JLL, and suppliers Kohler – are Gold Workshops and Awards Sponsors.