The Riyadh Development Authority
has estimated that there needs to be massive investment to revamp the
city’s housing sector. The figure is put at more than SR1 trillion
over the next 20 years.
sector in Riyadh will need a financial investment of SR55 billion
every year over the next 20 years,” reported Abdullatif Al-Sheikh,
head of the RDA’s projects and planning center.
According to a
study conducted by the authority, Riyadh’s population increases by
32 percent annually. This population explosion, which has necessitated
the huge housing investment, was largely due to the growing migration
of Saudis from rural areas.
Saad ibn Abdul
Rahman Al-Rashid, director-general of the Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid
Group, which is engaged in construction projects, emphasized the need
to change construction policies in the city to accommodate the growing
number of people.
According to one
estimate, Riyadh’s population will hit eight million by 2010 and the
city will require 1.5 million extra housing units during the next 20
Department of Statistics at the Ministry of Planning carried out a
Demographic Sample Survey which showed that the total indigenous
population of Saudi Arabia went up from 16.95 million in 1992 to 19.90
million in 1999. The average annual growth rate of the total
population was 2.5 percent between 1992 and 1999, compared to 3.5
percent for the decade prior to 1992.
The housing sector
offers lucrative investment opportunities to businessmen, banks and
“We have seen
that this is a good area for investment,” Al-Rashid told Arab News.
He underscored his company’s desire to establish world-class
residential and commercial complexes.
Al-Rashid group has
already allocated SR100 million to construct new housing projects. He
said Riyadh required large housing projects due to an increase in
“The rate of
vacant housing units in Riyadh is around five percent, which is really
added that “there is good scope for constructing small villas, as
many young Saudis prefer to purchase them after they get married, and
the successful marketing of such housing units will of course depend
on the quality of construction. This means introducing new building
techniques like heat insulation, which help house owners save money on