The Social Infrastructure KSA Conference will focus on the escalating demand for affordable housing, healthcare and education facilities in Saudi Arabia, and the opportunities and challenges this poses for the region’s construction industry.
With a population of 27 million, growing at 1.5% a year, of which 60% are under the age of 25, social infrastructure is of paramount concern to the Kingdom as it strives to meet the demands for quality of life and welfare for its citizens. The Social Infrastructure KSA conference will bring into focus the social spending programmes that the Kingdom has committed to in terms of social infrastructure. For example, in terms of housing alone, $70bn has been allocated for 500,000 new low-income housing units. A report by Bank Saudi Fransi estimates that 1.65 million new units will be needed by 2015.
As growing numbers of young Saudis cannot afford to own a house, the government is working to make subsidised and affordable housing available. The ongoing mortgage law reform is anticipated to have a major impact on the construction market. The total outstanding home finance provided by the private sector in Saudi Arabia amounts to less than 1% of GDP. This can be compared with well over 50% in most developed countries. Research by Deutsche Bank estimates that the new Saudi mortgage law will contribute to an increased demand of about 55,000 additional units a year.
In the government’s 2012 budget, the biggest area of spending (24%) will be allocated to education and training. The budget includes plans to build 742 new schools in addition to the 2,900 already under construction, and 2,000 existing schools will be refurbished. $23bn will go towards health and social affairs and accounts for 13%. Health projects will include construction on 17 new hospitals and healthcare centers, adding to the 130 already in progress.
In the healthcare sector, significant funding is being committed to meet future public health requirements. The Saudi Ministry of Health has allocated more than $18bn for healthcare services, including the construction and equipping of primary healthcare centres, the building of 120 new hospitals and the upgrading of four existing hospitals.
Saudi Arabia has also focused on the development of five medical cities, which are vast undertakings aimed at maximising the benefits of pooled medical knowledge and shared infrastructure. The Social Infrastructure KSA conference will allow the leaders of the Saudi Arabian construction industry to share experiences and ideas with senior government representatives tasked with rolling out these massive social infrastructure initiatives.
The 2011 Construction Week Social Infrastructure KSA Conference attracted more than 175 qualified
delegates, representing contractors, developers, consultants and senior representatives from
government funded projects related to Social Infrastructure. A breakdown of the delegates can be
178 conference participants comprising of
Welcoming Keynote Address by Arch. Hamad Alshegawi, President of the Saudi Council of Engineers
The speaker line-up for the 2012 Construction Week Social Infrastructure KSA conference includes an impressive mix of representatives from government departments, developers, contractors, and real estate analysts.
2012 Speakers and panelists include: