By Alex Girda, Associate Editor
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia—Gulf Related, a joint venture created by Gulf Capital, an alternative investment firm that mainly activates in the Middle East, and Related Companies, the largest privately owned real estate development firm in the United States, is set to tap into Riyadh’s growing residential market. Gulf Related is now ready to kick start a $267 million investment in the form of a high-end residential compound in the Saudi capital.
With figures for the housing requirement in Saudi Arabia for the next seven years pegged at around 1.3 million units, the development would be unveiled in the middle of a market boom. The Kingdom’s current shortage of housing units comes from its own residents with more than two thirds of the demanding population being made up of Saudi nationals. That’s not to say that the expatriate population doesn’t have its own share in the increase, as the foreign population has seen a 20 percent growth in housing demand over just three years.
In order to tap in on the flourishing market, Gulf Capital moved to acquire two lots in the North Western part of Riyadh on the Salboukh Highway, totaling 3.2 million square feet. Gulf Related will now move to develop a first phase of the $267 million residential building on one of those sites. That initial phase would produce 450 residential units in a landscaped environment as early as 2015. The setting would include a number of amenities and first-class residential facilities surrounded by a network of modern infrastructure and Riyadh’s world-class transportation web.
Gulf Related officials have discussed the purpose of the development and have argued that the SR 1 billion investment will become one of the city’s most sought after residential buildings. Gulf Capital CEO and co-managing partner of the joint venture Dr. Karim El Solh commented on the investment’s designation by saying that it will “cater to the growing residential needs in the Kingdom.” He went on to mention that “studies suggest that there is currently a shortage of over 100,000 units of residential facilities for expatriates in the Capital.”
Project details will most likely prove attractive to all expatriates looking to buy an upscale Riyadh home in a compound, 40 percent of which will be made up of lush landscaping, common facilities and ample roadways. This unique perception on new residential development, the developers are confident, will create a new residential market in the Saudi Arabian capital.