Thu. Sep 21st, 2023
    Saudi Arabia’s Construction Boom: Building a Future Away from Oil

    The international community is increasingly recognizing Saudi Arabia as a significant player on the global stage, and its construction industry is booming. With over 5,200 ongoing projects worth a combined total of $819 billion, the kingdom is investing heavily in construction as part of its Vision 2030 initiative. This ambitious plan aims to diversify the country’s economy away from oil and establish Saudi Arabia as a hub for innovation and sustainability.

    One notable project is The Line, a $500 billion smart city initiative near Riyadh. Spanning 170 kilometers, The Line focuses on renewable energy and advanced transportation systems. Another innovative project is Oxagon, a hexagonal prism structure that will serve as a hub for technology and research. Connected by a network of canals, Oxagon will offer co-working spaces, interactive exhibition areas, and research facilities.

    In addition to these futuristic projects, Saudi Arabia is also making significant efforts to promote sustainability in construction. The Red Sea Project, a luxury resort complex spanning over 30,000 square kilometers, aims to become a global tourism destination with a focus on sustainability. The project includes policies such as a zero-waste-to-landfill policy, carbon neutrality, and a ban on single-use plastics.

    To meet the demand for skilled professionals, the construction industry in Saudi Arabia is heavily reliant on foreign workers. Currently, foreigners make up 85% of the construction workforce, with around 2.1 million workers. Interestingly, the number of female employees in the sector is growing, with Saudi women representing the highest percentage.

    With its ambitious projects and commitment to sustainability, Saudi Arabia is poised to become a major player in the construction industry. The country’s success in other areas, such as sports, demonstrates its ability to achieve ambitious goals with determination and resources. As the kingdom moves forward with its construction boom, it is reshaping its future away from oil and towards a more diversified and sustainable economy.

    – GCR (Global Construction Review): “Saudi Arabia: 5,200 projects worth $819bn underway,” by Richard Steer.