According to global property consultant Knight Frank’s analysis, Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, a strategic framework to diversify the country’s economy, has resulted in the creation of nearly $1 trillion worth of real estate and infrastructure projects across the Kingdom since 2016.
The property expert states that about $300 billion of the total spend is dedicated to new infrastructure, including vast new passenger rail networks and a brand-new airport for Riyadh which is expected to be the home base for a new national airline.
“Saudi Arabia is a country being reborn. The ambition that underpins Vision 2030 is being borne out in reality and we are rapidly closing in on $1 trillion of developments, all of which are colossal. And this is only about a third of the total spend plan. The number and value of megaprojects around the country set to transform the country’s real estate landscape, the standard of living, lifestyle offering and perhaps most importantly, showcase the Kingdom’s vision for an ultra-modern future to a global audience.”
Knight Frank highlights eight new cities that are planned, mostly on the country’s western seaboard, along with the Red Sea coast, where nearly $575 billion is being spent to deliver over 1.3 million new homes, more than 3 million square meters of world-class offices and over 100,000 hotel rooms.
The Saudi futuristic city Neom alone will cost an estimated $500 billion and is being positioned as a new vision for future cities. This new metropolis will not be another smart city, but one that sees cutting-edge technology being used to create one of the most innovative and sustainable places in the world.
The scale of infrastructure improvements in the country is phenomenal. The targets laid out by the government around attracting 100 million annual visitors to the country by 2030 means both adequate and first-class gateways need to be created. The new cruise terminal at Jeddah Islamic Port, the first cruise routes are already in operation. And these developments are not vanity projects, they are going to have a significant impact on economic growth.
Harmen de Jong, Partner – Real Estate Strategy and Consulting, Knight Frank, added, “Most private sector real estate developers were sitting on the fence during the first few years following the announcement of Vision 2030, however, we have seen inquiries for development consultancy and development management services increase significantly over the last 6 to 12 months.”
Meanwhile, Riyadh is poised to become entrenched as the commercial nerve center for the kingdom, with more than 100,000 new homes expected by the end of 2023 and close to 3 million sq m of new office space in the works, along with over 12,000 hotel rooms, spread across mega projects worth an estimated $63 billion.