Saudi Arabia budgets US$92bn for top 10 projects

The AvenuesAccording to a BNC Report on Saudi Arabia’s ongoing mega projects commissioned by The Big 5 Saudi 2017, the kingdom’s top 10 construction projects are worth a collective US$92bn

Religious facilities, entertainment venues and new housing developments are all part of the mega projects that are getting international attention and driving the construction market forward in 2017.

Taking an in-depth look at what is revolving currently in the Saudi Arabian market, the urban construction and transport sectors constitute approximately 68 per cent of the total projects’ value in the country, estimated at US$700bn.

While exploring key prospects and developments within the local construction industry, organisers of Saudi Arabia’s largest construction event, The Big 5 Saudi, dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa, released a report on the country’s Top 10 Mega Projects.

Slated to open with much anticipation is the Kingdom Tower, located in Jeddah. Standing at one kilometre high, the tower will comprise of 252 floors and will have a gross floor area of 245,000 sq m. It will include offices, a 200-room Four Seasons Hotel, 121 serviced apartments and 360 residential apartments. It will also have several sky lobbies and the world's highest observation floors located on the top floors, at 660 meters high, enabling visitors to view the city of Jeddah. The project is valued US$1.8bn and due for completion by March 2020.

Located in the most iconic city within the kingdom, Makkah, is home to two of the most talked about developments. Consisting of 12 towers standing between 30 to 40 floors sitting on top of a large podium and three basement floors, the Abraj Kudai Development will have approximately 10,150 residential units and hotel rooms. The podium will have a bus station, a shopping mall, restaurants, food courts, a conference center and car parks. The project, developed by the Ministry of Finance is valued US$3.5bn and due for completion by the end of 2017.

To be completed by May 2019, the US$17.2bn expansion plans of the Holy Haram Mosque will cover an area of 456,000 sq m to accommodate the 1.2mn worshippers who visit the Holy site every year. Developments by the Ministry of Municipalities & Rural Affairs are scheduled in three main sections: new buildings, courtyards, and tunnels. Tunnels will run a total length of 1,200 metres through Jabal Hindi, countering a second tunnel which will be 1,100 metres in length and will pass through Jabal Madafie. An added complex consisting of a library will be included in the expansion.

One of Saudi’s most iconic landmarks, the Prophets Mosque in Medina will see an expansion as well. Undergoing a US$6.7bn expansion, with completion estimated by the end of 2017, the project will be spread over an area of 1,020,500 sq m. The building itself will have an occupying area of 614,800 sq m.

Moving towards the capital in Riyadh, four high profile projects are also underway. An initiative put forth by the Ministry of Housing, the Dahiyat Al Fursan development will create 100,000 houses and other infrastructure works in the capital. The project will include construction of apartments, townhouses, education buildings, commercial buildings, and research and development centers. Topping out at US$20bn, Dahiyat Al Fursan developments are expected to be completed by March 2020.

Hoping to be a new entertainment venue and shopping destination, Mall of Saudi developers Majid Al Futtaim Group have big plans for the proposed US$3.2bn shopping paradise. Spread over an area of 866,000 sq m including indoor snow parks and 300,000 sq m of shops, restaurants, entertainment areas, residential units, offices, show rooms space, luxury hotels, and serviced apartment buildings, the Mall of Saudi is expected to open its doors in March 2022.

Joining the retail landscape, The Avenues, will be a project involves construction of a 1.7mn sq m shopping mall. Developed by Shumool Real Estate, the US$1.9bn worth Avenues retail facility will also include two residential towers, two hotel towers, a medical tower and office units.

Looking to ease traffic congestions, the Riyadh Metro project boasts of a 176km long, six-line metro railway system is currently being constructed in the capital Riyadh. With 81 stations along its route, the six-line system will span across the surrounding regions and integrate many neighborhoods. Valued at US$24.3bn, its completion date is set for December 2020.

Industrial developments are also making their mark as contenders for mega projects within the kingdom. Developers representing Saudi Aramco have set an ambitious completion date for later this year on 30 November 2017 for its new oil and gas processing facility, the Jazan Oil Refinery located in Jazan Economic City. Once finished, the US$7bn facility will have the capacity to extract up to 400,000 bpd and 75,000 barrels of gasoline.

Heading towards the eastern provinces, Saudi Aramco unveiled and set in motion another oil and gas processing facility, the Fadhili Gas Plant. Valued at US$6.6bn with completion due in December 2018. The gas plant will have a capacity of 15bn standard cubic feet per day of non-associated gas. It will also include the onshore Khursaniyah upstream facility, the Fadhili downstream pipelines, a residential camp, a 380kV substation and industrial support facilities at the new gas plant.

Construction industry professionals will be able to explore these and other business opportunities at The Big 5 Saudi 2017 taking place from 27-30 March at the Jeddah Centre for Forums & Events. Gathering thousands of manufacturers and buyers of construction products and solutions for the built environment, the event will host over 300 exhibitors from more than 20 countries. The Big 5 Saudi 2017 will also offer 48 free to attend and CPD-certified workshops, to help industry professionals develop their skills and knowledge.

In 2016, The Big 5 Saudi welcomed an impressive 14,985 unique visitors, totaling over 21,138 participants from 34 countries, with 3,000+ products on display. Organised by dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa, the event is free to attend and open to adult industry professionals only.

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