Prince Fahd bin Sultan opens radio & TV production center in Tabuk

Saudi Arabia to become among 10 top real estate markets worldwide, DAMAC expects

Riyadh Economic Forum discusses five issues next week

British health minister praises Saudi Arabia’s health system as advanced

Under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the President of Supreme Economic Council, the 5th Riyadh Economic Forum will start its activities on Saturday.

Princes and ministers will take part in the three-day forum to discuss national strategic economical issues.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is forecast to become one of the best performing real estate markets in the world in 2012, according to the Middle East’s largest private developer DAMAC Properties.

With investment bank Rasmala predicting five per cent growth in house prices over the next two consecutive years, Saudi Arabia’s property sector is poised to become one of the world’s leading property markets.

“The European debt crisis is likely to constrain real estate prices across the Eurozone, the U.S market is still flat and with China and Hong Kong property prices tumbling, the Middle East is where investors are most likely to see growth in the New Year.

“We predict that Saudi Arabia, in particular, could easily edge into the world’s top-ten list next year” said Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director of DAMAC Properties.

Saudi Arabia’s economic fundamentals are strong, with Real GDP growth projected to be 6.4% in 2011, which is the highest in eight years. Corporate profits in the Kingdom rose nearly 25% in the first nine months of 2011, and net income from the petrochemical sector surged by 55% according to a report by Global Investment House.

“There is very strong positive sentiment about the outlook for Saudi’s economy, and that is fuelling demand for high quality properties within the Kingdom. We are seeing strong demand from both end users and investors seeking a market with high yields and plenty of scope for capital growth” El Chaar Increased oil revenues in 2011 have spurred a wave of fiscal spending as the Saudi Arabian government continues with its strategic push to diversify its oil-based economy. King Abdullah’s commitment to spend 30% of the Kingdom’s annual GDP on public projects aimed addressing unemployment and the country’s housing shortage is already stimulating the housing and construction sectors.

“The investment world is so preoccupied with growth from the BRIC countries and emerging markets that they are overlooking a major powerhouse economy in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is undergoing a once in a generational transformation and property is an excellent vehicle to gain exposure to the Kingdom’s economic expansion” commented El Chaar.

DAMAC Properties is well established in Saudi Arabia, having been one of the first international developers to be granted a license, under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom’s new real estate laws, to develop and sell properties off-plan.

DAMAC Properties’ is currently constructing Al Jawharah Tower on the Jeddah Corniche. The development was recently awarded the Arabian Property Award for ‘Best High Rise Architecture.’ At 47 storeys, Al Jawharah will be one of the tallest towers in Jeddah, and among the tallest developments in the country. Construction is currently up to level eight, with block work up to level three.

The ‘DAMAC Residences, with Interiors by Versace Home’ will occupy the highest ten floors of Al Jawharah. The Versace-branded residences were launched at Harrods in London during the summer, and showcased for the first time in KSA at the Riyadh International Urban Development and Real Estate Investment Event. DAMAC Properties is this month unveiling its Versace show apartment at Al Jawharah in Jeddah.

“While there has been a lot of commentary about affordable housing, it’s not only the lower end of the market where we are seeing demand. As a luxury developer, we cater to the high end of the market, and we are seeing very strong demand in the luxury market segment” El Chaar noted.

There is also a major demographic shift taking place in Saudi Arabia. The country has a very young demographic profile, with around 45% of the population currently aged below 20 years old. The young population and rapid rate of urbanization has been a significant factor driving the real estate market, with many young professionals now looking for units away from the traditional family home.

El Chaar commented; “Saudi Arabia is dynamic, vibrant and exciting market to be a part of at the moment. DAMAC Properties is currently focused on the construction of Al Jawharah project in Jeddah, but we are extremely optimistic about the Kingdom’s real estate market and are continually looking for opportunities to expand our footprint in KSA.”

DAMAC Properties is a large well capitalized developer, with a proven track record for delivery. The leading independent developer is continuing with its commitment to deliver its luxury development concept to the Saudi Arabian property market.

DAMAC Properties was established in 2002, as a private residential, leisure and commercial developer in Dubai and the Middle East. Since then, DAMAC Properties has expanded rapidly into North Africa, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

DAMAC Properties has completed 36 buildings to date with 7374 units and spanning 13,132,484.00 sq feet with projects in Dubai such as The Crescent and Lago Vista at IMPZ, Executive Heights and Smart Heights in TECOM, Park Towers in the DIFC, Lake View and Lake Terrace at Jumeirah Lake Towers, Business Tower and XL Tower at Business Bay, Emirates Gardens and Tuscan Residences in Jumeirah Village and Ocean Heights, The Waves and Marina Terrace at the Dubai Marina.

DAMAC Properties also has a further 50 buildings at various stages of progress across the Middle East, North Africa region.

These consist of 9849 units, spanning 16,886,151.00 sq feet.

In June 2010, DAMAC Properties further reinforced its position as a premium developer with the launch of DAMAC Tower in Beirut, Lebanon. A 28 storey iconic tower, this project is in association with the Italian Fashion House Gianni Versace spa, with all interiors being designed by Versace Home.

This was followed by the DAMAC Residences with Interiors by Versace Home, launched in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in June 2011.

The company’s projects are located in the most desirable and exclusive locations and are built to the highest quality specification that has become synonymous with the group.

DAMAC Properties’ develop projects that include residential, commercial and leisure facilities that create an integrated community.

In addition to support services provided by the Dubai headquarters, the company’s comprehensive Customer Care Program provides solutions through its vast network with offices in the UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, KSA and Qatar.

On the other hand, Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Tabuk Region, Patronized the opening ceremony of the Broadcasting and TV Production Center in Tabuk in the presence of Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja, Minister of Culture and Information.

Upon arrival, the Governor was briefed on the contents of the facility.

The Executive General Manager of National Guard Health Affairs Dr. Bandar bin Abdulmohsen Al-Qanawi, who is also the General Supervisor of Royal Clinics, met with British Minister of State for Health Simon Burns.

During the meeting, they exchanged cordial talks and discussed aspects of joint cooperation between the two countries in the field of health.