Saudi construction sector revitalized by Vision 2030 — Report

The eighth edition of The Big 5 Saudi will run from March 5-8 at the Jeddah Center. for Forums & Events.
Updated 21 November 2017

Saudi construction sector revitalized by Vision 2030 — Report

Nineteen months after its announcement, Saudi Vision 2030 is proving effective, with the Kingdom’s construction sector showing increased growth potential.
Thanks to recent reforms and renewed spending, construction activities are picking up after the slowdown that affected the industry over the past two years. This was revealed recently by a report titled “Saudi Arabia’s Construction Market Overview 2018 and Beyond.”
Prepared by BNC Network for The Big 5 Saudi, the region’s premier construction event, the report indicates that the Saudi construction market has tremendous growth potential in the near future. Currently, there are $284.3 billion worth of projects in the early stages of development in the Kingdom, with over 700 projects scheduled to begin work in the next few months and due by or before 2022.
“Saudi Arabia has more than 4,700 construction projects that are active today, with a combined estimated value of $852.3 billion; around 170 of these projects are worth $1 billion or more,” said Nathan Waugh, portfolio event director of The Big 5 Saudi.
According to the report, the ambitious Saudi Vision 2030 plan to move the economy away from oil profits is driving construction activities in both residential and non-residential segments. Reforms aimed at increasing the private sector’s contribution in growth industries such as mining, manufacturing, and health care, are offering new investment opportunities in the form of joint ventures or public-sector partnerships.
Moreover, the rapid growth of the Saudi population and strong urbanization trends are fueling the urban construction sector.
“Today, there are over 3,300 projects in the urban construction sector, which represent approximately 70 percent of all construction activities in Saudi Arabia,” said Waugh. “Housing is indeed the most significant area of expenditure under the Saudi plan, aiming to grow the real estate sector contribution to GDP from 5 percent to 10 percent by 2030.”
Saudi Vision 2030 is driving demand for construction products in the country. “We see a rejuvenated interest in the Saudi construction market by international players this year,” said Waugh ahead of the eighth edition of The Big 5 Saudi. Running from March 5-8 at the Jeddah Center for Forums & Events, the exhibition will bring under one roof over 500 manufacturers of construction products from around the world.
The three-day event is expected to attract 15,000 visitors.

KPMG study: Pandemic-led governments to focus on people-centric policies

Updated 16 June 2021

KPMG study: Pandemic-led governments to focus on people-centric policies

“Modernizing Government,” KPMG’s latest report on global trends in public administrations, presents insights from a study into evolving modus operandi in governments of eight major economies including Saudi Arabia. Aside from assessing the handling of service delivery, supply chain and back operations, the study also envisions the pandemic as an opportunity, a springboard for advancements in remote working, agile policy making and rapid service design.

The KPMG report examines the new trend of a modernized government, which is customer-centric, agile, digitally enabled and inspired for future change. KPMG believes that reliance on robust business cases, costly and time-consuming planning, and extensive programmer “big builds” are now poised to give way to a new model, which is built on digital technology, cloud platforms, collaboration with other governments, and new partnerships with industry — supported by new and upskilled civil servants — revolutionizing how governments function in the 21st-century public interest.
In response to the pandemic challenges, the Saudi government rapidly established new services and ways of working, including the setting up of new temporary hospitals, digital health solutions, supply chains, mobile apps, call centers and rapid economic stimulus packages. 


The KPMG report focused on Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, the UK and the US.

“Saudi Arabia has seen a much more self-forgiving government that is taking action as needed while allowing itself to perfect its approach late. Acting fast rather than acting ‘spot on’ has become the norm. This is especially tangible in the digitization of the customer experience, where a certain level of error and risk is now allowed to implement new technologies,” said Ismail Alani, head of government and public sector at KPMG in Saudi Arabia.

The study emphasizes that the future is consumer-centric — stakeholders including citizens, businesses and other organizations — transforming public services to meet constituent needs and expectations. It finds that today’s consumers are more informed, connected and demanding than ever. And while they have come to expect the highest standards of personalization, choice, speed, satisfaction and security in every digital interaction, the pandemic has served to heighten consumer expectations surrounding the customer experience.

Governments’ stakeholders want to be treated like valued customers. The report indicates that government leaders will have to evolve the culture within and across their government entities by establishing a new “outward-looking mindset,” providing citizens with the opportunity to co-design government services via their input and feedback.


SABB named ‘Saudi Arabia’s Best Bank 2021’ for second year in row

Updated 15 June 2021

SABB named ‘Saudi Arabia’s Best Bank 2021’ for second year in row

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has won the “Saudi Arabia’s Best Bank 2021” award given out by the Global Finance magazine for the second year in a row. The award is voted on by industry leaders, based on criteria including growth in assets, profitability, geographical scope, strategic relations, new business development and product innovation.

Global Finance is a monthly magazine founded in 1987 and headquartered in New York. Each year Global Finance selects the best financial institutions around the world. These awards have become a recognized and trusted standard of excellence.

Tony Cripps, managing director of SABB, said: “We are proud to have received this award for the second year in a row for the bank’s outstanding performance in providing innovative products and services to our customers and expanding our strategic relationships on the local, regional and global scale. We are also focused on investing in the strengths that we have established over the past years and growing in new areas in line with the opportunities offered by the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. After the success of our historic merger, we are in a stronger position and ready for future opportunities the Saudi market is witnessing in various fields.”

SABB is keen to move forward toward achieving its vision under the slogan “We bring a world of financial opportunities to an ambitious Kingdom.” The slogan emphasizes its keenness to continue supporting the ambitious growth plans of the National Transformation Program and the basic programs to achieve Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

SABB recently completed the historic merger with Alawwal Bank, which marks a positive step that will have a direct impact on the development of the financial sector in the Kingdom. The bank offers a range of services in corporate banking to support growth in all aspects of the economy and financing the largest infrastructure projects, in addition to enabling retail banking customers to access a wider branch network with the development of digital banking. 

SABB also continues to strengthen its position in highlighting ESG (environmental, social and governance) in the Kingdom through its participation as one of the main organizers of pooled financing of SR14 billion ($3.7 billion) for The Red Sea Development Company. 

SABB was established in 1978 as a Saudi joint stock company. It is an associate company of the HSBC Group.

Feyan makes hundreds of children’s wishes come true

Updated 13 June 2021

Feyan makes hundreds of children’s wishes come true

RIYADH: Feyan — Naif Alrajhi Investment Group’s community service arm — launched its “Eidikum Alaina” initiative for the second consecutive year, motivating children to give and offer toys to other children in need. Feyan partnered with Kayan Association for Orphans to implement the initiative and ensure toys are delivered to the right families, drawing more than 250 smiles on children’s faces.
In its first edition, the initiative called on children to gather toys from their homes to offer and deliver them to their less fortunate peers in Riyadh. This year, building on last year’s success, the team launched a landing page where children shared their wishes for other kids to make them come true. A list of wishes was available on the page; kids were able to log in and choose the toy they wanted to provide, prepare it and wrap it as a gift and write the beneficiary’s name on it so that the team could pick it up and deliver it. From skateboards to Xbox and Barbie houses, toys are offered with love, creating a beautiful synergy and a sense of pride in giving and sharing for the joy of Eid.
“The initiative is meant to teach children about the importance of giving by motivating them and engaging them in catering to other kids’ wishes,” said Noura Naif Alrajhi, Feyan’s director. She added: “As an investment group, our community service is directed toward investing in people and enticing them to engage and give. We are proud of our partnership with Kayan Association for Orphans and happy to celebrate the smiles we have drawn through this initiative for Eid for the second year.”
The initiative engaged hundreds of children across the Kingdom.

Emkan named ‘fastest growing digital microfinance company’ in KSA

Updated 31 May 2021

Emkan named ‘fastest growing digital microfinance company’ in KSA

Emkan, an omnichannel fintech brand delivering digital financing solutions to Saudi nationals seeking microfinancing assistance through personal and consumer loans, has been named the “fastest growing digital microfinance company” in Saudi Arabia at the Global Business Outlook (GBO) Awards 2021. 

The GBO Awards extend to the private and public sector, recognizing the work of businesses across performance, innovation and drive to create industry value.

Saud bin Ghonem, CEO and board member at Emkan, said: “We are honored to be the recipient of this prestigious award and to be recognized for our operations that have remained strong and steadfast throughout the pandemic. We have also strengthened our processes by building trust and long-term relationships with customers. Our transparency and security in every step of the customers’ journey and connecting with trustworthy institutions has also been a vital part of our growth and development as a company.

“With critical themes such as personal instant finance services and end-to-end digital experience driving the financial industry forward in the upcoming period, we will continue sharing innovative ideas and practices. We plan to further expand and enhance our service portfolio in the coming period. Some offerings that will be added include installment finance, auto finance, SMEs finance and credit card issuance.” 

GBO Awards seeks to recognize and reward excellence in businesses around the world. The awards are designed to facilitate the outstanding work of businesses and business leaders across industries including banking, finance, real estate, telecom and aviation among others.

Launched in 2020, the Saudi-based Emkan provides innovative financial solutions that fit the needs of all segments of society working in the government or private sectors. The company operates under the authority and supervision of Saudi Central Bank and provides financial solutions compatible with the Islamic law, through easy and seamless mechanisms.

LuLu highlight flavors from the UK in ‘British Week’

Updated 30 May 2021

LuLu highlight flavors from the UK in ‘British Week’

RIYADH: Known for highlighting country festivals throughout the year, LuLu, the region’s largest hypermarket chain, recently launched its annual British food festival to promote a variety of products imported from the UK, which are available at great discounts across all LuLu stores in the Kingdom until June 1.
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Neil Crompton visited the “British Week” festival at LuLu’s Atyaf Mall branch in Riyadh, and was joined by Shehim Muhammed, director, LuLu Saudi Hypermarkets, and other officials. Aiman Abidi, senior trade adviser at the Department for International Trade, UK, visited the festival at the hypermarket’s branch in Al-Hamdaniyah District in Jeddah on behalf of the British consul general. No formal inauguration event was conducted due to COVID-19 protocols.
Crompton said: “I am delighted to be supporting the LuLu Hypermarket’s British Week. The long-standing relationship between LuLu and the Department for International Trade has opened doors for many British companies to export, list and sell products, not only in the Kingdom but across the GCC countries and the wider region. We look forward to continuing this successful partnership with LuLu, and hope to see even more British products on the shelves of LuLu outlets everywhere.”
LuLu has flown in more than 3,000 products for the food festival, from cheeses to organic and healthy products, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, sweet delicacies, and much more, all of which highlight an authentic British shopping experience. LuLu is also offering ready-made classic English delights in the hot food section featuring freshly cooked dishes.
“We are proud to showcase the rich culture of the UK through traditional flavors and quality produce in stores. Our UK sourcing offices and food processing units have helped us in guaranteeing non-stop supply at the most competitive prices all-year round. This is to sustain the supply requirements of our stores across the Kingdom. I would like to thank our trade partners for making this a great success,” Muhammed said.
LuLu, which has its own food processing plants and sourcing offices in the UK, has exerted massive efforts to introduce many new ranges of products, featuring organic, low-fat, gluten-free and other diet-based food options in stores that are popular with health-conscious shoppers.
Serving more than 1,600,000 shopping patrons every day, it is the fastest growing retail chain across 10 countries that include the GCC, India, Egypt, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Founded in the early 90s, it has successfully expanded to different parts of the world and currently operates with a staff of more than 57,000 at its 209 stores.