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Ten projects to have stalled in Saudi Arabia

CW takes a look at the developments still to be completed

Riyadh is the capital and largest city in Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh is the capital and largest city in Saudi Arabia.
Jeddah Central Development.
Jeddah Central Development.
Al Wasl Development.
Al Wasl Development.
Khobar Green Oasis.
Khobar Green Oasis.
Shams Riyadh.
Shams Riyadh.
Diplomatic Quarter, Jeddah.
Diplomatic Quarter, Jeddah.

Saudi Arabia's construction industry is currently enjoying a purple patch.

According to the recent MENA Projects Tracker, published by Citi, GCC countries are responsible for almost 90% of the projects being built by value, with 60% of those in KSA and the UAE.

In terms of country spend, Saudi Arabia leads the way with $784bn worth of projects.

Although the Kingdom's buoyant construction market didn't have the same downturn in activity as was witnessed elsewhere during the recent global economic crisis, it wasn't entirely unaffected and the country boasts a number of multi-billion dollar projects that are still to complete.

CW looks at ten of the biggest, with information supplied by Ventures Onsite (

Tabuk Economic City

Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA)

The project, first revealed in 2006, involves construction of a city which will spread over an area of 4mn m2 and will include industrial areas.

It was meant to be one of five huge new economic cities planned across the Kingdom, wth others at Jazan, Madinah, Hail and Rabigh. These have enjoyed differing degrees of success. King Abdullah Economic City near Rabigh is the most advanced, with the new port opening last year and plans for its huge industrial valley being sped up.

Tabuk, however, is another story, with little being announced in terms of projects since its launch.

Jeddah Central Development Project

Commercial Real Estate Company (Tijaria) / Venture Capital Bank, Saudi Arabia / Solidere / Urban Development Co (UDC) / Siraj Capital, Saudi Arabia/ Jeddah Central District Company JV / Jeddah Development and Urban Regeneration Company (JDURC)

The project, launched in 2009, is meant to develop the central area as a major element of the city's overall economic and demographic development program, transforming the old centre of Jeddah into an economically-attractive landmark that offers new job opportunities and contributes to meeting the city's increasing demand for housing over the next 20 years.

Al Wasl Development in Riyadh


Announced in 2007. The project, which is on hold, was to be located in 30km from the Saudi capital, cover more than 14mn m2 and include over 3mn m2 of green space. The development was expected to provide 55,000 homes but was mothballed following huge losses incurred by Dubai-based developer, Limitless, during the 2008 property crash.

Following a $1.2bn refinancing in October 2012, Limitless chairman Ali Rashid Lootah indicated that it was seeking financing or joint ventures, but as yet no deal has been announced.

Prince Abdulaziz Bin Mosaed Economic City

Al Mal Investment Company / Mohammed Abdulmohsen Al Kharafi & Sons Company WLL, Kuwait / Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) / Rakisa Holding Co.

Announced in 2006, but currently on hold, the city was to meant to cover 156mn m2 and have 12 distinct components for trade and services in sectors such as agriculture and food processing, mining, education, housing, and entertainment.

In late 2008, the local developer Rakisa Holdings was replaced by Kuwait's Al-Mal Investment Company which signed an agreement with Sagia to develop the city. Little activity has been seen since.

Rawabi Al Bait Development in Makkah

Jiwar Real Estate Management

Jiwar’s Rawabi Abraj Al Bait project, launched in 2007, comprises 21 towers, and overlooks one of the holiest sites of Islam, Al Masjid al Haram.

The launch of the project by Jiwar at Cityscape Dubai was expected to create a major buzz and reinforce the company’s reputation of being associated with some of the most prestigious projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Khobar Green Oasis

Alargan International Real Estate Company

The city of Al Khobar in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia is the location for Al Argan's master plan development of Green Oasis, which was launched in 2012. This expansive, gated, mixed-use community which sits on almost 4mn ft2 of land, is comprised of contemporary themed villas, modern low-rise apartment buildings, a commercial and retail hub, and various community centers and mosques for the neighbourhood.

Shams Riyadh Project

Dar Al Arkan Development Company

The project involves the construction of 3,189 villas in different sizes. The area of development is 5mn m2 and located in King Khalid Road in Al-Dareiyah province at Riyadh city.

Al Louldah Project in Riyadh


Al-Louldah, covers 2.27mn m2 and is to have up to 9,000 housing units able to accommodate up to 30,000 people. It was also to feature offices and shops.

Jabal Khandama Real Estate Project in Makkah

Jabal Khandama Development Company

The first phase of the Jabal Khandama real estate project in Makkah involved the construction of 7,458 rooms to accommodate pilgrims. Plans have also been made for the construction of hotels, shopping centres, restaurants and furnished apartments in Khandama.

Diplomatic Quarter on Jeddah

Kingdom Holding Company / Jeddah Development and Urban Regeneration Company (JDURC)

diplomatic quarter covering 8mn m2 square meters to be built on south Jeddah's seafront, along the lines of the one in Riyadh, was first mooted in 2010. It was to include housing for Saudis and expatriates and expected to be completed in 2013. 

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