sakani housing program

Sakani Housing program completes Saudi Eastern region projects

The Sakani program has wrapped up four projects in the Eastern Region, and three other initiatives are over 90 percent completed.

Sakani is a real estate initiative launched in 2017 by the Ministry of Housing and the Real Estate Development Fund to support Saudi citizens to own their first home.

Completed projects include Nasaj Town, with 674 housing units, the Saraya AlGharoub initiative, which provides 116 homes, the Mada Oasis project, which will serve 282 families, and the Al-Bayraq Villas settlements in Al-Mubarraz, which offers 178 units.

The Eastern Region’s housing projects with over 90 percent completion include Al-Qatif Al-Badrani, with 196 units, Al-Barraq Villas in Dammam, with 959 housing units, and the “MD” project, which will offer 728 town houses.

Some 34 housing projects are being implemented in the Eastern Region to provide more than 22,000 diverse homes.

Some 144,000 houses will be distributed through 101 Sakani projects throughout the Kingdom.

The scheme runs in partnership with the private sector and channels financing options to people who can also construct their own homes.

Source: Arab News

construction market

GCC construction market bounced back strongly in Q1 of 2021

The GCC construction market bounced back strongly in the first quarter of 2021 following a massive drop last year due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

GCC disclosed $35.6 billion worth of new schemes in Q1 2021, which cover 55 per cent of the total announcements in 2020,  according to BNC Projects Journal.

Saudi Arabia topped the chart, contributing $19 billion or 54 per cent of the newly-announced projects, followed by Qatar with a 21 per cent portfolio. The utilities sector topped amongst sectors with $14.5 billion, while the oil gas sector added $10 billion in newly-announced projects.

“Saudi Arabia would like to draw a fine line in the sand that leads the country into the future. This isn’t just another line that the Red Sea can gently wash away. This is a bold, daring and ambitious line,” said Avin Gidwani, CEO of Industry Networks, which produces BNC Projects Journal.

The GCC construction market is estimated at $2.2 trillion, with over 22,000 active projects as of first quarter of 2021, it said.

Saudi Arabia currently holds $823.5 billion of active projects, of which 28 per cent are in early stages.

“Saudi giga-construction can be a lifeline and as business advice goes, the best that you can do at present is to get in line to serve an upcoming market in Saudi Arabia,” added Gidwani.

Qatar shared two-third of total project awards in the GCC, with the oil and gas sector sharing 70 per cent of the load.

Project awards totalled $32.3 billion in the first quarter and much of it was attributed to the $18.5 billion four liquefaction trains in Qatar and $2.5 billion LNG storage and loading facilities to be built as part of North Field Expansion Scheme in Qatar.

Project completions in first quarter 2021 recorded a 20 per cent quarter-on-quarter drop as projects worth $47.5 billion were delivered in the GCC. The urban construction sector shared half the load as UAE and Saudi Arabia took top positions with a 42 per cent and 33 per cent contribution, respectively.

Source: DAMAC

construction contracts

Construction contracts worth billions are expected to be announced this year at the Diriyah Gate development

Construction contracts worth billions are expected to be announced this year at the Diriyah Gate development, which aims to entice tourists to the birthplace of the kingdom.

Contracts worth a whopping SR16 billion ($4.26 billion) are expected to be awarded this year across Diriyah Gate, a unique development centred around At-Turaif, Saudi Arabia’s Unesco World Heritage site, according to a senior official of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA).

In an exclusive interview with Gulf Construction, Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of Diriyah Gate Development Authority, says: “In March this year, we let circa SR3 billion worth of construction contracts and we are expecting to award a further SR3 billion shortly.

“Overall, we plan to award SR16 billion worth of contracts in 2021 across the development.”

The DGDA has already floated its main infrastructure packages for Diriyah Gate and Diriyah Square’s super-basement and will float the tender shortly for the project’s Samhan car-park.

With the pace of work projected to increase by 450 per cent over the last year, the DGDA has set up a new subsidiary company, Diriyah Development Company (DevCo) to handle the development activity taking place within its ambitious SR75-billion Diriyah Gate development.

The 7-sq-km heritage and tourism destination is taking shape in Diriyah – the birthplace of the kingdom and wider Arabian Peninsula, and home of the First Saudi State – in the Riyadh region some 15 minutes northwest of the centre of the Saudi capital.

Diriyah Gate is expected to be the first destination of its kind in the kingdom and aims to provide a new way of living for Diriyah’s residents. The development is looking to attract more than 25 million visitors annually and appeal to the local population of Riyadh – which is anticipated to expand to 15-20 million by 2030 – as well as inbound global audiences.

On completion, the destination will include 20 hotels, a diverse collection of museums and cultural institutes, a bustling retail heart and over 100 food and beverage outlets. It will harmoniously combine authentic Najdi architectural style living with world-class amenities – all within the convenience of a mixed-use urban community.

Diriyah will incorporate a stunning collection of more than 20 heritage and culture offerings including major museums, academies, and cultural institutes as well as residential and retail districts, luxury hotels and commercial offices.

Commenting on progress of work on site, Inzerillo says work has already commenced on the excavation of about 7.5 million cu m of rock to enable the construction of the project’s main substructure infrastructure and parking. The DGDA has additionally started construction on seven projects and is in advanced planning on many more.

“Some of the projects currently under construction include the food and beverage (F&B) precinct at Bujairi District, Bujairi car-park, Samhan Heritage Hotel, Diriyah Art Oasis and Diriyah Gate Experience Centre, which will showcase upcoming residential, office and retail spaces,” he says.

One of the first areas to benefit from the transformation of Diriyah is the existing Bujairi district which later this year will be the first of several areas in the region to experience a major upgrade, significantly beautifying it, improving infrastructure and enhancing the quality of life for the community. Bujairi will be home to Riyadh’s new premium dining hub, enjoying uninterrupted views of At-Turaif; the Diriyah Art Oasis – one of Saudi Arabia’s first arts centre dedicated to contemporary art; and the luxury Samhan Heritage Hotel.

A number of contractors have already been appointed to carry out work on the project, including Marco (for Diriyah Art Oasis and Samhan Heritage Hotel); Arail (for Bujairi food and beverage precinct); Al Yamama (for bulk excavation); and Badan (various landscape contracts including Western Ring Road beautification).

The Bujairi food and beverage precinct is due for completion by the end of this year, while Bujairi car-park is scheduled to be complete in Q2 of 2022 and Diriyah Art Oasis by Q3 of 2022.

The restoration of the historic valley, Wadi Hanifah, has also begun, Inzerillo says. “Wadi Hanifah runs for 110 km through one end to the other of Riyadh, and the DGDA’s masterplan includes 2 sq km of this. We’re focusing on rejuvenating and restoring the Wadi palm groves, which were a big part of life going back hundreds of years, and some of the earliest traces of humanity in this region. We want to restore the palm groves and historical agriculture, as well as create a range of passive and active recreational opportunities including bicycle tracks and horse bridle paths, in addition to cultural experiences within the Wadi for both the local people from Riyadh and visitor to the site,” he says.

Work has been completed as planned on At-Turaif South Park, Inzerillo says. This included the restoration of the historic farm and planting more than 570 palm trees.

In line with the overall ambitions for the development, At-Turaif, the Unesco World Heritage Site, has been restored and preserved as one of the key initial areas of redevelopment.

To carry out the restoration work on some of Diriyah’s old buildings at At-Turaif, the DGDA has enlisted the assistance of Italian firm Studio Croci & Associati.

“One of the most renowned Italian architectural companies, Studio Croci & Associati are experts in historic building conservation, with a strong portfolio of international heritage site conservation projects; restoration and protection of monuments; and are consultants to numerous international organisations including Unesco, International Council on Monuments & Sites (Icomos), The World Bank, Ministries of Cultural Heritage and the La Sapienza University in Rome,” Inzerillo says.

The DGDA is in the process of shortlisting and assessing additional contractors for this work. They include companies that are highly specialised in the conservation of adobe buildings. The authority has also begun preventative structural consolidation works in a small area of the At-Turaif Unesco World Heritage site. This work is being implemented with a specialist Saudi company on a cluster of vernacular houses that are in need of minor conservation, so as to test local knowledge, skills and capacity in the process of conservation of traditional architecture, he adds.

Given Diriyah’s significance in the kingdom’s history, buildings will be created in the traditional stone-and-mudbrick Najdi architectural style to reflect their surroundings. All the museums will be built in the Najdi vernacular architecture and world-class design consultants are currently being procured through design competitions for each museum, according to Inzerillo.

“There are various consultants that we are working with across our museums and cultural institutes. Foster + Partners has been selected as the design consultant for the House of Al Saud museum and we expect to appoint designers for three more museums shortly,” he says.

Diriyah Gate will be one of the world’s foremost mudbrick cities and the DGDA is using authentic Najdi construction materials and techniques adapted for modern contemporary living for its construction.

To facilitate work on this type of project, the DGDA has set up its own mudbrick construction yard on a 1-sq-km site at the edge of Riyadh. “Multiple local materials suppliers are working with the DGDA, along with the municipality and the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIM) to ensure that the raw materials are available to us. The DGDA has actively engaged with multiple specialist traditional Najdi contractors and is availing their expertise within our development,” Inzerillo explains.

Upon completion, Diriyah Gate will be the Middle East’s most walkable urban environment – designed in the traditional Najdi architectural style.

Elaborating on how this environment will be created, Inzerillo says: “One of the key elements of the Najdi urban typology is to have narrow non-linear streets which provide natural shading that cools down the temperature in hot weather. We are additionally planning a range of physical and technological solutions to ease the heat in the peak of summer – noting, of course, that the Riyadh dry heat environment is much more comfortable than many countries in the region which suffer greater humidity. Some of the physical elements will include canopies and pergolas designed to feature authentic Najdi materials as used historically in Najdi houses.”

Some of the Diriyah Gate assets are opening at the end of 2021 with the majority of the assets to be progressively completed between the end of 2023 and the end of 2025.

“By working on a project of such historical importance, we are responsible for recreating and reimagining an important part of Saudi history, and reconnecting Saudis with their cultural heritage. There is an enormous sense of responsibility in developing Diriyah – a place that is held so dearly in the hearts and minds of Saudis,” he says.

To achieve this goal, the DGDA is encouraging developers and investors to join in the efforts of implementing the amazing vision of a Najdi city.

“We are already working with several investors on various assets across our masterplan. We are also open to third-party developers acquiring sites and delivering specific assets within our building design guidelines, which adhere strictly to our vision,” he says.

Source: Gulf Construction

building material

Building material sector in Q1 of this year in Saudi Arabia

While steel made the biggest surge, the growth slowed as the year progressed, going from 40% to 28% in March

The price of building materials, especially steel, rose in the first quarter (Q1) of this year, as construction activity began to recover from the slowdown caused by the coronavirus disease pandemic last year.

The price of steel surged to SR3,514.73 ($937.26) per ton in Q1 of 2021, a 33 percent increase year-on-year and the highest price since 2008, according to the latest data from the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT).

The cost of ready-mix concrete rose 14 percent year-on-year to SR203.9 per cubic meter during the same timeframe, while cables rose 21 percent year-on-year to SR38.33 per meter.

In addition, wood prices rose 15 percent year-on-year to SR3,067.49 and cement was up 5 percent to SR14.03 per 50kg bag in Q1.

While steel made the biggest surge, the growth slowed as the year progressed, going from 40 percent growth in January to 28 percent growth in March.

The increase in prices for materials comes as construction activity increased in Q1, according to a new report by real estate consultancy firm JLL.

“From a supply perspective, the first quarter recorded an increase in construction activity,” the JLL report said. According to its figures, in the residential sector in Riyadh 7,700 units were handed over in Q1, bringing the total to 1.3 million units in the capital. In Jeddah, around 2,000 units were added, bringing the total to 838,000 units.

The report estimated that 36,000 units in Riyadh and 12,000 units in Jeddah are due to be delivered this year.

In addition to the increased activity in the residential sector, Riyadh is also set to see an additional 386,000 square meters of office space, 240 square meters of retail space and 2,800 new hotels rooms built this year.

In Jeddah, the city is forecast to gain an additional 43,000 square meters of office space, 200,000 square meters of retail space and 2,700 new hotel rooms.

However, JLL said that while it remained “cautious about the timely delivery of future projects” it believed that going forward “the government initiatives that are pushing Riyadh to be the business hub of the region are expected to spur local and international demand.”

Announced in January this year by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the ambitious Riyadh Strategy 2030 aims to create 35,000 new jobs for Saudi nationals, pump up to SR70 billion into the national economy and double the size of the capital city’s population to as many as 20 million by 2030.

The increased development in the first quarter is a welcome change from 2020, when construction activity declined in the wake of restrictions due to the pandemic.

According to the Contract Awards Index produced by the US-Saudi Business Council (USSBC), the total value of construction contracts awarded in Saudi Arabia during the third quarter of 2020 declined by 84 percent year-on-year.

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

This was already evident in the USSBC’s Q4 report, which found that the total value of contracts rose 115 percent quarter-on-quarter in the last three months of 2020.

Source: ArabNews

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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