“Saudi’s real estate market serves as a pillar of the nation’s economy”

Saudi Arabian real estate developer Raza's CEO, Waleed Alesia, discusses emerging real estate trends across the kingdom

Saudi Arabian real estate developer Raza's CEO, Waleed Alesia
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Saudi Arabian real estate developer Raza's CEO, Waleed Alesia

As a majority of us are aware, Saudi Arabia market among the Middle Eastern markets that everyone is talking about with regards to the construction industry, and we are also witnessing efforts emerging across the kingdom’s real estate sector as part of the Vision 2030 agenda.

Under the initiative, the current focus of the kingdom’s real estate authorities is to progress home ownership in the nation, as well as to provide efficient housing solutions for residents, and create an environment for foreign and local investors.

Saudi real estate developer, Raza, recently released a whitepaper report highlighting the trends of the country’s real estate market.

Part of the real estate management arm of the Saudi Public Pension Agency and subsidiary of Al Ra’idah, Raza has approximately $3.4bn (SAR13 bn) in assets under management covering 200ha of office, mixed-use, and community developments in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam.

Raza launched its operations in Saudi Arabia in May 2019, establishing an integrated real estate management platform to focus beyond property development by offering asset management, property management, and commercial services.

Speaking exclusively to Construction Week, Raza’s CEO, Waleed Alesia, said that that the current trends in Saudi’s real estate market include urban planning, development partnerships, and an increased interest in gigaprojects.

“Developments that are gaining traction in the kingdom feature world-class, modern influences and cater to the preferences of next generation property-buyers,” Alesia told Construction Week. “Over the last decade, the kingdom’s property market has witnessed an influx of investments from large developers that aim to sustain the nation’s growing population and enhance private sector contribution.

Alesia added that due to the growth of the Kingdom’s entertainment sector, developers have begun to introduce developments that fulfil consumer demand.

“Adopting a placemaking strategy has become a popular concept among developers in Saudi as they begin to introduce mixed-use developments,” he says. “A rise in technological advancements that aim to provide efficient solutions and offerings to the property market have been increasingly evident, including AI, omnichannel, e-commerce, and agile spaces.

The real estate developer launched a five-year strategy where placemaking and developing integrated communities would act  as “critical growth catalysts” to double its its portfolio to nearly $6.9bn (SAR26bn) in assets under management by 2024.

 Looking ahead to fulfil the Saudi Vision 2030 agenda, Raza believes that there is a growing trend of multi-faceted developments that integrate elements of commercial, retail and residential properties.

The occupancy rates across its portfolio stood at 85% with some of its more prominent developments such as Digital City in Riyadh being fully leased.

“Raza’s mixed-use development, Digital City, is Saudi Arabia’s first integrated-use community that enables an ecosystem of growth and productivity for businesses and employees,” Alesia continues.

“In line with Saudi Vision 2030, Digital City is providing the kingdom’s property market with a unique live, work and play concept that satisfies the next generation of property buyers, and by default, enhances homeownership rates. Saudi’s real estate market serves as a pillar of the nation’s economy.”

The company is currently completing a development pipeline of 4,600 residential units in Digital City and Jeddah Obhur.

Raza said that together with existing compound assets and residential portfolio in the Diplomatic Quarter, it would emerge as the largest community landlord in the kingdom by 2020.

With so much development happening throughout Saudi Arabia’s built environments, the countries real estate market is seemingly set for a continuous state of transformation and growth.

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