construction industry

How ‘Muqawil’ will help regulate construction industry in KSA

The chief of the main Saudi contractors platform said the Kingdom’s ‘Muqawil’ platform will keep prices in the construction industry competitive.It will also help regulate the construction industry and isolate unprofessional builders, Al Eqtisadiah reported, citing Thabet Al-Sweid, Secretary-General of the Saudi Contractors Authority.

The platform was established five years ago to help regulate the sector as well as establish indicators for the prices of building materials and contractor rates. It also includes data on the track record of individual contractors to help the public and construction clients make better choices when picking a builder.

As the Saudi construction industry revenue growth is anticipated to increase by approximately 4% annually. The Kingdom’s 2030 vision has set the target for Saudi citizens’ housing at 60% by 2020, which will reach up to 70% by 2030, directly impacting residential building construction activities. Saudi Arabia also plans to reduce the overall household price ratio by 2020 to five times the average per capita annual income.

Gigantic projects such as NEOM, the Red Sea Project, AMAALA, and Qiddiya that positively impact the industries and future development. These projects are accompanied by earlier mega-projects of the King Abdullah era for example, the Science and Technology King Abdullah University, The Petroleum and Research Center of King Abdullah, and the soon-to-be King Abdullah financial district.

In 2019, all three of the giga projects had entered their first phase, and initial development began in early 2020. The schemes are expected to contribute large amounts of ongoing construction activity over the long term, beginning with the need for roads and other essential infrastructure.

At the heart of this evolution is the investment and growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and its integration into a modern mega-city, Neom, where life is built around technology including AI, Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT). Neom is currently under development and aims to efficiently integrate robotics and AI into every aspect of citizens’ lives in a bid to generate revenues from key economic sectors for the future.

However, this transition from the hydrocarbon-based economy to AI is more than economic. It is an effort to protect the Kingdom of Saudis sustainability and to face the increasing difficulties of building a state around oil. Nevertheless, what happens in Neom will offer knowledge towards how AI influences the world.

Construction progresses on road projects in Saudi Arabia’s Asir

Construction work has been rapidly progressing on several road development projects in Saudi Arabia’s Asir region, which are being constructed as part of the kingdom’s initiatives to provide safe transport infrastructure.

Some of the projects that are currently under construction include the road serving the University City of the King Khalid University and the intersection of Arbaeen Road project.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser inspected the projects.

Other roads project that is currently being developed in Asir is the Phase 1 of the northern reserve road of Abha Khamis Mushait road, in addition to the Aqabat Sha’ar road, and dualisation of the Al Sawda Road, standing on Obsta Dhula road.

In November 2020, the Ministry of Transport completed a number of road projects across various regions of the kingdom, in line with its mission to raise the level of safety and quality of roads, and to enhance the efficiency of their operation.

In order to improve operational efficiencies, the ministry completed the examination and evaluation of 80 bridges, and carried out a package of works on more than 17,000km of roads. This included surveying damage to asphalt surfaces; measuring the roughness coefficient of roads; measuring the resistance to slip on roads surfaces; as well as geographical surveys of reference points and longitudinal paths.

The ministry installed 3.4km of rotational barriers; 21km of concrete barriers; 25km of “cat-eye” ground signs; 112km of road fencing; and 34.71km of metal barriers.

Source: www.constructionweekonline.com

Saudi Arabia to launch construction standard agreements within weeks

RIYADH: The Saudi Contractors Authority (SCA) is expected to officially launch the “standard agreements” and “advisory services” initiatives in the coming weeks to stimulate the sector and make an attractive investment environment in line with the requirements of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, according to Al Arabiya.

All standard agreements will be fully automated through a platform created by the SCA specifically for agreements within its main platform “muqawil” and linked with the Saudi National Digital Identity Management platform, to verify the parties to the agreement.

The goal is to enhance transparency and fair competition in the construction sector and to reduce the percentage of stalled projects, as well as to adopt a mechanism for settling disputes to avoid resorting to the courts as much as possible, Al Arabiya reported, citing Al-Eqtisadiah paper.

It also enables the owner to evaluate the contractor providing the service in the future, which helps to raise the quality of services and works provided by contracting facilities and enhance competitiveness among them, which is reflected in fast implementation of projects.

“This initiative targets small and medium enterprises in the construction sector that are experiencing administrative or operational technical challenges, which negatively affects their performance, the implementation of these projects and the quality of their outputs,” said the Saudi Contractors Authority.

Source: www.arabnews.com

PIF awards SR8bn construction contracts for KAFD

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) signed contracts worth more than SR8 billion for the construction works at King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), a report in Al-Riyadh newspaper quoted Aiman Al-Mudaifer, PIF’s head of the Local Real Estate Division, as saying.

Most of the contracts were awarded to local companies, he added. The district is expected to witness high demand, especially as more buildings became ready, Al-Mudaifer said.

Several banks and companies started operations at KAFD, the official said, adding that some tenants received their units at the residential towers.

The district spans over 1.6 million square meters in the north of Riyadh. It will include offices of several financial institutions such as the Capital Market Authority and the Saudi Stock Exchange.

Source: www.arabnews.com

The Middle East’s top construction contracts of December 2020

Following some massive contract wins in November 2020 by the likes of ACWA Power, SS Lootah, AESG, and Hassan Allam, and Siraj Power, the Middle East construction sector closed the year with further big wins, setting the tone for a constructive 2021. 

Some of the projects that stood out with their contract awards for December 2020 were ACCIONA, Siraj Power, ENGIE, BYMARO, AECOM and Mott MacDonald among others/

The Middle East’s top construction contracts of December 2020 were:

1. ACCIONA bags $384m design, build contract for Shuqaiq 1 desal plant

2. ENGIE acquires Allied Maintenance Company amid Saudi expansion

3. Masdar, PT PJBI’s JV win contract to build the first floating PV project in Indonesia

4. Red Sea International, FMCO win contracts for The Red Sea Development Company’s Construction Village

5. Saudi Arabia’s National Water Company (NWC), Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) ink deal to provide water services to the Qiddiya gigaproject

6. Moro Hub partners with Facilio to boost UAE’s energy-saving strategies

7. Elsewedy Electric bags $93.2m EPC contract from Egypt’s NCEDC

8. IMKAN awards $36.5m contract for Le Carrousel Mall to BYMARO

9. AECOM provides supervision, QC services for TRSDC Airport

10. The Red Sea Development Company awards Mott MacDonald transport consultancy contract

Please note that this list is not a ranking.

1. ACCIONA bags $384m design, build contract for Shuqaiq 1 desal plant

Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) awarded a design and construction contract worth $384m to ACCIONA and its partner Al‑Rashid Trading & Contracting Company (RTCC), for the Shuqaiq 1 desalination plant on the Red Sea coast.

Once developed, the plant will enable improved supply of drinking water and offset water shortages in south-west Saudi Arabia by providing a new source of potable water.

Equipped with reverse osmosis (RO) technology, the plant will have a daily capacity of 400,000m3/day, ACCIONA and RTCC’s scope of work include marine and civil works, supply and installation of electromechanical and electrical equipment, start-up and pre-and post-treatment systems, and commissioning.

2. ENGIE acquires Allied Maintenance Company amid Saudi expansion

Sustainable energy services and solutions provider ENGIE Solutions has acquired Allied Maintenance Company Ltd (AMC), a Saudi-based facilities management company that manages multiple projects across the kingdom. The acquisition will help ENGIE expand its presence in the kingdom leveraging AMC’s countrywide coverage and client base, while also proving customers with ENGIE’s low carbon energy services – particularly in the areas of energy efficiency and digitisation.

3. Masdar, PT PJBI’s JV win contract to build the first floating PV project in Indonesia

Masdar and PT PJBI, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s state-owned electricity company PT PLN (Persero), has formed a joint venture (JV) to develop the Cirata Floating Photovoltaic (PV) Power Plant in Indonesia — marking it the first floating PV project in the Southeast Asian nation.Upon completion, the Cirata Floating PV Power Plant will power 50,000 homes, offset 214,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, and contribute to the creation of up to 800 jobs.

The plant will be located on a 250ha plot on the 6,200ha Cirata reservoir in West Java.

The project once completed will be the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia and one of the largest in the world.

4. Red Sea International, FMCO win contracts for The Red Sea Development Company’s (TRSDC) Construction Village

As per the contract awarded by TRSDC in December 2020, Red Sea International and FMCO will each be responsible for the accommodation of up to 5,000 construction workers in the Construction Village, and will ensure the facility is managed in adherence to the highest living standards for all workers.

In addition, both companies will provide maintenance, security, catering, administrative and laundry services at the Construction Village.

5. NWC, QIC ink deal to provide water services to the 366km2 Qiddiya

Saudi Arabia’s National Water Company (NWC) has signed a MoU with Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC), the developer of the 366km2 Qiddiya gigaprojet to supply the project with potable and treated water. The agreement is aimed at supporting strategic projects and serving the kingdom’s economic, tourism, heritage, and environmental goals of Vision 2030.

The MoU has been signed for a period of three years and will include the provision of all water services.

NWC will supply Qiddiya with approximately 20,000m3 of potable water per day, and around 70,000m3 of treated water per day.

As part of the water services agreement, NWC will develop raw sewage network pipelines in Darmaa and Al-Muzahmiyya governorates and later link them to the treatment plant at Qiddiya.

6. Moro Hub partners with Facilio to boost UAE’s energy-saving strategies

Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA)’s subsidiary Moro Hub has partnered with US-based Facilio, which is an AI-driven property operations cloud platform, to launch energy management and monitoring services for commercial and residential buildings in the UAE.

The service will be deployed across buildings and key structures that will reinforce the country’s overarching sustainability goals, as well as result in more substantial and integrated electricity conservation programmes.

7. Elsewedy Electric bags $93.2m EPC contract from Egypt’s NCEDC

Egyptian Stock Exchange-listed (EGX) wire and cables and integrated energy solutions provider in the Middle East and Africa Elsewedy Electric has secured a $93.2m engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) from North Cairo Electricity Distribution Company (NCEDC). As part of the contract, Elesewedy Electric will upgrade the electricity distribution network and provide smart solution to digitise the network. The company will also install 500,000 smart metres, DMS, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), and RTU, in addition to the smart ring link panels. Elsewedy Electric’s scope of work, includes engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) of all the project components.

8. IMKAN awards $36.5m contract for Le Carrousel Mall to BYMARO

Abu Dhabi-based property developer IMKAN awarded a two-year, $36.5m (AED134m) contract to Morocco’s BYMARO for the construction of the Le Carrousel Mall, which is set to be the first open-air shopping mall in Morocco and is a major feature of the developer’s Rabat-based flagship project, Le Carrousel, which was launched in January this year.

Construction work has commenced on the mall and is scheduled to be completed in Q4 2022.

9. AECOM provides supervision, QC services for TRSDC Airport

In December 2020, infra consulting firm AECOM was selected to provide airside construction supervision and quality control services for TRSDC’s ustainable international airport located within Saudi Arabia’s 28,000km2 The Red Sea Project.

AECOM’s scope includes the oversight of the airside infrastructure construction; the design and building of a 3,700m ‘Code F’ runway; a ‘Code B’ seaplane runway; parallel and link taxiways and pavement works; aeronautical navigational aids; aerodrome ground lighting; airside utilities; helipads; roads; and associated buildings.

10. The Red Sea Development Company awards Mott MacDonald transport consultancy contract

Another contract awarded by TRSDC, this entails transport consultancy for the project and was bagged by global engineering firm Mott MacDonald. to determine the optimal sustainable vehicle and fleet configuration at the destination.

Mott MacDonald will deliver an analysis of the total land, sea, and air transport needs for the development and operation of the 28,000km² site, from its opening in 2022 to its completion in 2030. This will involve a strategy for destination-wide clean mobility using electric and hydrogen vehicles, boats and aircrafts.

The company will also be required to identify the most appropriate supporting infrastructure, such as electric and hydrogen vehicle charging stations, in line with TRSDC’s ambitions to power the destination with 100% renewable energy.

Source: www.constructionweekonline.com

Saudi trade with Bahrain reached $2.91bn in 2020

RIYADH: Trade between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain reached SR10.9 billion ($2.91 billion) in 2020, with steady growth over the last quarters as restrictions related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic began to ease.

The fourth quarter of 2020 registered SR2.6 billion in trade between the two countries, up from SR2.55 billion in the third quarter and SR2.5 billion in the second.

Located 40 minutes away via the King Fahd Causeway, Saudi Arabia received $320 million worth of Bahraini exports during the last three months of 2020. The second biggest market for Bahraini exports was the US ($138 million), followed by the UAE ($135 million).

Ali Al-Mudaifa, executive director of manufacturing, transport and logistics at Bahrain Economic Development Board, said: “Bahrain is the destination of choice for international companies seeking a regional base with access to Saudi Arabia, the largest GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) market, and the wider $1.5 trillion GCC market.

“Our steadily rising levels of trade with Saudi Arabia during 2020 show the benefit of this regional connectivity for manufacturers, and we look forward to further strengthening our trade partnerships during the year ahead.”

Earlier this month, it was reported that tourism and trade links between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia grew 43 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020, but the reopening of the King Fahd Causeway in March 2021 will help give the economies of the two countries a further boost after the impact of the pandemic.

“Prior to the pandemic, Bahrain welcomed around 11 million tourists with over 88 percent coming through the causeway…The number of visitors from Saudi Arabia is set to gradually go back to normal levels following this announcement and is expected to add around $2.9 billion to Bahrain’s economy this year based on average tourist spending in 2019,” Dr. Ali Al-Moulani, president of the Bahrain Economists Society, said in a press statement.

Saudi Arabia is reopening travel via air, land and sea from March 31, 2021, according to the country’s Ministry of the Interior.

The King Fahad Causeway is one of the largest construction achievements in the region. Since its opening in 1986, it has played a prominent role in the region and helped to strengthen relations between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Around 390 million users have traveled along the causeway since it opened.

Source: www.arabnews.com

Saudi Arabia’s SPARK adopts sustainable construction

Saudi Arabia’s 50km2 megaproject King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) has announced the deployment of multiple innovative construction solutions in a bid to promote sustainability.

Of these construction solutions, many are being adopted in the kingdom for the first time, as SPARK spearheads a drive for more environmentally-friendly building technologies that support the circular carbon economy framework.

These include the use of ‘green’ concrete that incorporates recycled materials, modular steel connections and Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) rebar in bridge decks.

SPARK’s Chairman, Dr Mohammad Yahya Al-Qahtani said: “SPARK is proud to announce a wide range of sustainability initiatives that are being deployed for the first time in Saudi Arabia. These practices reflect our approach to construction that utilises the latest advances in technology to maximise efficiency, minimise environmental impact and create a world-class energy ecosystem.”

SPARK, which is already recognised as the first industrial city in the world to obtain a LEED Silver Certification, has earned another milestone, becoming the first organisation in Saudi Arabia to use Podzolic green concrete, which is a newly-developed building material that uses local recycled materials as a partial replacement for cement. Capturing locally produced waste-materials and reemploying them in construction will help reduce landfill disposal and reduce carbon dioxide emissions associated with cement production.

Another milestone, SPARK has also become the first entity in Saudi Arabia to pilot ConXtech steel connection technology for a commercial building. The technology entails a modular method for steel erection allowing beams to be interlocked using non-metallic materials and slotted into position – rather than welding and bolting steel beams together. The benefits include increased construction efficiency, reduced material waste and improved site safety; the 362.8 tonnes erected in two weeks by SPARK would have taken at least six weeks using conventional methods.

In addition, in another first – for the Middle East and Africa – SPARK has deployed Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) rebar as a non-metallic replacement for epoxy steel reinforcement in bridge decks. This is a lighter, stronger, and easier to handle material that will not corrode, thus reducing waste and maintenance. Using GFRP rebar at SPARK will reduce the weight of steel reinforcement on bridges by 70%.

The construction approach adopted by SPARK is in line with the Circular Carbon Economy, a concept championed by Saudi Arabia and endorsed by G20 countries that aims to reduce, reuse, recycle and remove carbon emissions, as part of ongoing efforts to mitigate climate change and create climate-friendly energy systems that support sustainable development.

Source: www.constructionweekonline.com

Experts confident of Saudi construction sector returning to normal soon

JEDDAH: The total value of construction contracts awarded in Saudi Arabia during the third quarter (Q3) of this year collapsed by 84 percent on figures for the same period in 2019 as the economic impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continued to bite.

Despite the large drop, industry experts remained upbeat, pointing out that the Q3 figure was a statistical anomaly, as 2019 was a record year, and predicting that once the short-term impact of the global health crisis had passed the construction sector would bounce back.

According to the latest Contract Awards Index (CAI) produced by the US-Saudi Business Council (USSBC), the total value of construction contracts awarded in the Kingdom during July, August, and September declined by SR40.4 billion ($10.8 billion) to SR7.4 billion.

Within the quarter itself, the figure also gradually declined, going from SR2.958 billion in July to SR2.613 billion in August, and SR1,842 billion in September. One of the main reasons for the slump was budgetary constraints, as the Ministry of Finance looked to absorb the economic impact of the pandemic and reined in capital expenditure.

Looking back on the year as a whole, the data compiled by the USSBC found that during the first three quarters of 2019 construction contracts worth a total of SR161.8 billion were handed out. By comparison, during the same period this year the figure fell to SR63.6 billion, a drop of 60.69 percent.

Albara’a Alwazir, economist and author of the USSBC report, told Arab News that he was confident the sector would rebound, just as it had done after the downturn between 2016 and 2018.

“The Kingdom was pursuing a market share leadership strategy as an oil producer in 2016 whereby oil prices decreased as a result of high global oil inventories.

The slowdown in global demand for oil led to the reduction in the Kingdom’s budgetary spending, with a particular slowdown in capital expenditures,” he said.

He pointed out that the current downturn was somewhat similar in that lower oil revenues necessitated a revaluation of the Kingdom’s expenditures in the face of reduced global oil demand, but the long-term impact would be minimal, as the sector returned to normal after the COVID-19 slowdown. 

“The Saudi economic outlook appears promising as the number of COVID-19 cases have sharply decreased coupled with the recent news that vaccines are showing promising results and are reported to be available by the middle of 2021.

“Furthermore, while numerous projects have been delayed because of the pandemic, the government has stated that there will be a continued focus on megaprojects especially those that relate to Vision 2030,” he added.

Alwazir was also optimistic that decisive government actions would also mean the long-term impact had been reduced. “The recent announcement that the Public Investment Fund (PIF) will inject SR150 billion annually into the economy in 2021 and 2022 is a positive development.

“The PIF’s role in keeping the economy buoyant in the face of a global downturn will be pivotal in progressing through Vision 2030’s mandates,” he said.

Taimur Khan, an associate partner at real estate consultancy Knight Frank, noted that the dramatic year-on-year drop in Q3 was mainly down to statistics and the fact that the figures were being compared to a record-breaking 2019.

“It is important to note that the total value of contracts awarded in 2019 was the highest level since 2015 and 95.4 percent higher than total awards in 2018, so we are comparing against a high base,” he said.

“Whilst the total value of new contracts has decreased, the level of activity underway in Saudi Arabia still remains high compared to previous years and considering new financing agreements signed during the course of 2020, particularly those relating to urban and real estate development, we expect new contracts activity levels to begin to return to pre-pandemic highs in 2021,” he added.

Figures in the USSBC report revealed that the majority of the awarded contracts during Q3 were in the transportation, power, and real estate sectors, which jointly accounted for 59 percent of the total. The transportation sector registered the highest value of contract awards with SR1.7 billion to three major road development projects linked to the Red Sea Development, Qiddiya, and Amaala megaprojects.

The largest Q3 contract was for SR938 million, awarded by the Red Sea Development Co. to Almabani, and Nesma and Partners for the construction of a 3.7-km runway and taxiways at the Red Sea International Airport. In terms of geography, the Eastern Province continued to be the focus for activity, accounting for SR2.3 billion worth of deals, or 32 percent of all contracts awarded, including a new chlorine derivatives plant and an industrial wastewater processing plant in Jubail.

Makkah Province accounted for 20 percent of contracts, primarily in the power and real estate sectors, followed by Tabuk province with 19 percent.

According to Alwazir, the Saudi Contractors Authority has maintained that the government’s megaprojects related to Vision 2030 would continue to be its focal point in the near-term, with investments continuing into these strategically important areas.

Source: www.arabnews.com

Saudi Arabia completes construction of Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion

Saudi Arabia has announced the completion of the construction of its pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, which will now take place in 2021 due to a coronavirus-related postponement.

The pavilion, work on which began in February 2019, will be second in size only to that of the UAE pavilion.

Spanning an area of 13,069 sq m – equivalent to two football fields, the pavilion will celebrate the country’s experience in blending its traditions with its aspirations for a bright future, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The eco-friendly structure boasts 650 solar panels sourced from Saudi entrepreneurs and manufactured in the kingdom.

The Saudi Arabia Pavilion will take visitors on a guided tour of the wonders of the country’s 13 regions through multiple immersive and interactive experiences and exhibits.

A special water feature installation is set to be a key attraction alongside a 1,320 sq m inclined mirror screen and unique art showcases attributed to Saudi artists while an art installation embedded with 2,030 crystals to represent Saudi Vision 2030 is also anticipated to be a big draw.

“Rising six stories from the ground, the innovative facade of the building symbolizes the country’s deeply-rooted heritage, ancient culture, natural wonders, myriad opportunities and the towering ambition of the Saudi people,” a statement said.

Last week, a senior Expo 2020 Dubai executive said projected visitor numbers to next year’s delayed event remain the same, despite heightened health and safety regulations as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

It had been feared that the audience for the event, which was initially forecast to attract in the region of 25 million visits over its six-month duration, would be scaled down because of social distancing restrictions designed to curb the spread of the virus.

However, Manal AlBayat, chief sales & marcomms officer at Expo 2020 Dubai, told Arabian Business the targets for visitor numbers remained the same.

Despite the ongoing Covid-inspired health and economic crisis, AlBayat revealed that the construction of all Expo-related assets, including the iconic Al Wasl Plaza and associated pavilions, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

More than 190 countries have signed up to take part in the six-month World Expo.

Saudi giga project says construction contracts top SR2bn

A major contract worth SR1.1 billion ($293 million) has been awarded to build roads and bridges connecting the Qiddiya giga project in Saudi Arabia as construction progresses despite the impact of coronavirus.

The total value of all construction contracts awarded so far by Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) since construction began some 12 months ago, has reached SR2 billion, with these contracts awarded 100 percent to Saudi companies.

The most recent contract award, a three-year agreement to construct major roads and bridges on the upper plateau of the site, was won by Haif & Freyssinet – a joint venture contract between the two local firms.

Kareem Shamma, chief development officer, QIC, said: “Reaching the SR2 billion mark is a very important milestone for us, but what’s more important is that these contracts went through a tough and competitive bid process, and were won by Saudi firms, and this, wholeheartedly, supports our intention to contribute to the growth of the domestic economy.

“It is also indicative of our continued commitment to creating the kingdom’s capital of Entertainment, Sports and the Arts. Businesses across the globe have been affected adversely due to the global pandemic but we have been steadfast in our vision, and fortunate to have the continued and unwavering support from our leadership to stay on track, deliver on time and keep moving forward.”

Owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), QIC aims to prioritize business opportunities for local companies in order to catalyze economic and inclusive growth, he added.

The $10 billion Qiddiya will be spread across 334 sq km in Riyadh. In phase one alone, there are more than 45 projects, where visitors will have access to over 300 recreational and educational facilities including a Formula One-standard racing track, a 20,000-seat cliff-top stadium, an 18,000-seat indoor arena, an aquatic centre and a sports hub, as well as a 2,000-seat performing arts theatre and a cinema.

The development will also be home to Six Flags Qiddiya, an extension of the American theme park and with six themed lands.

During lockdown, he said Qiddiya ensured all necessary safety precautions and protocols were followed and was able to continue with construction as planned.

Work progressed without interruption as much of the current primary infrastructure work can be done at safe distances, adhering to all Ministry of Health guidelines, the company said in a statement.

About 800 workers are currently on-site with the number of construction workers expected to reach 1,000 by the end of 2020.

Qiddiya has successfully completed total road asphalting of over 275,000 cubic metres, and concrete pouring of 80,000 cubic metres. In terms of preliminary eartworks and mass grading, total excavation reached 10.4 million cubic metres, total embankment and filling reached 8.6 million cubic metres, and total clearing and grubbing reached 8.9 million cubic metres.

Qiddiya’s site office complex in the site’s lower plateau has recently been doubled in size to support more staff moving from the corporate offices in Riyadh while a second site office complex on the upper plateau is also now under construction and expected to be completed by end of December.

Qiddiya said it aims to develop more strategic partnerships and to continue with heavy construction well into 2022 – making it ready for the testing and commissioning phase, ahead of its opening in 2023.

Earlier this month, QIC announced the appointment of Walt Disney Company veteran Philippe Gas as its new CEO, effective from November 29.

Gas brings a wealth of experience to the role, moving into the position from a 30-year tenure with The Walt Disney Company, where he most recently served as president and managing director of Walt Disney Attractions Japan & Disneyland International.

Source: www.arabianbusiness.com

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