Riyadh growth creates ‘major investment opportunities’
Saudi Arabia’s capital city has major opportunities for investors across several sectors, the High Commission for the Development of Riyadh stated in its investment climate report for last year.
The report, published in a local newspaper on Friday, was released in four parts, which included the background on the Kingdom’s economy, Riyadh’s growth and infrastructure, regulations for investors, and investment opportunities in the public and private sectors.
The report stated that the city issued 29,136 building permits in the financial year 2014/2015, accounting for 25.7 percent of the 113,519 permits issued countrywide.
It noted that over the last few years the construction taking place was transforming the city into a major urban center that included skyscrapers, mega malls and buildings, which were designed in an innovative and unconventional manner.
The building boom in Riyadh contributed to the establishment of more than 170 factories producing building materials, ceramic and glass. There was also support for citizens in the form of loans from the Real Estate Development Fund, the report stated.
In the real estate sector, construction of houses has kept pace with the 8 percent growth in the population, with 1 million units built, and vacancies of only 4.3 percent. This was a strong indicator of the relative balance between supply and demand, the report stated.
The area of land used for residential, industrial, agricultural and green purposes amounted to 60,000 hectares in the city, while there were planned developments over 120,000 hectares, and 50,000 unplanned areas.
The report stated that in 2015 livestock in Riyadh amounted to 42.8 percent of the country’s wealth in the sector. This was divided into 11 million sheep or 18.3 percent, 151,000 goats or 14.6 percent, and 251,000 cows or 55.1 percent of the total.
The report stated that there were 17 dairy farms in Riyadh producing 1,258 billion liters of milk or 70.6 percent of the Kingdom’s total milk production. There were 103 million poultry representing 17.1 percent of the total in the Kingdom, while apiaries produced about 7,388 kg of honey representing about 7 percent of the Kingdom’s total production.
In the business and commercial sector there were 404,000 companies operating over the 2013/2014 financial year. In the health sector, there were 47 hospitals out of the Kingdom’s total of 268, in addition to 225 health centers out of the Kingdom’s total of 435.