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In Conversation with Reem Abuzeid: Architectural Insights, Networking, and Local Understanding in Saudi Arabia's Real Estate

Article-In Conversation with Reem Abuzeid: Architectural Insights, Networking, and Local Understanding in Saudi Arabia's Real Estate

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In this interview Reem Abuzeid unpacks Saudi Arabia's real estate industry, emphasizing local understanding, networking, cultural heritage, and the evolving role of women.


Q. Can you share your insights on the current state of the real estate industry in Saudi Arabia and its growth potential?

The real estate industry in the KSA is currently experiencing a revitalisation. There are several new projects, and giga-projects, in development and coming on-line in the coming years. In particular, the hospitality industry is seeing a renaissance with a number of new luxury and hyper-luxury assets coming online. The Red Sea Global projects in particular highlight this development and have been setting the benchmark for rate of growth and standards that are applied.


Q. What are the key skills and qualities necessary to succeed in this industry?

Speaking from the design and development side, the most important skills for success in the industry are attention to detail, a holistic understanding of the local requirements and needs, and strong technical skills developed in the Kingdom and in similar regions.

Q. Can you shed light on the impact of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 on the real estate industry and the opportunities it presents?

Vision 2030 has provided ambitious goals and created many opportunities in the real-estate sector. As Saudi Arabia develops in accordance with the various Vision Realization Programs, new real estate projects will need to come online to help meet those goals. This covers everything from tourism, hospitality, residential, commercial, health, and industrial real-estate projects across a number of geographic areas. You need look no further than the number, breadth and spread of the various giga projects under development (including the Red Sea, Amaala, NEOM, etc.). All of these projects serve as anchor points for even further future developments in their respective areas.

Q. Can you share some valuable lessons or success stories from your own real estate career in Saudi Arabia? 

Trying to forge a career in architecture in Saudi Arabia has not been easy for women – it wasn’t until around 2005 that women could actually become licensed architects in the Kingdom.  Since 2016 (and as part of Vision 2030), there have been various incentives that have helped promote women in the fields of construction, engineering and architecture. The most valuable lessons for success I’ve learned in my career are the importance of pursuing your goals and building a strong network of like-minded individuals in your industry.


Q. What advice would you give to aspiring real estate professionals who are considering working in Saudi Arabia?

I have touched on the importance of developing strong relationships and networks in the real estate industry in Saudi Arabia, and the first piece of advice I’d give is for aspiring professionals to seek out professional connections and build lasting relationships in their field with other professionals on the ground.

Thanks to organisations like WILD (led by Emma Burdett), I am able to more easily connect and network with other ambitious women in the industry, and the ability to build these relationships has been invaluable in contributing to my success.

I would also recommend exploring what Saudi Arabia has to offer. Saudi Arabia is a wonderful country, rich in heritage and culture. Developing an understanding of the local architectural vernacular, society, and customs is essential for the success of any project in Saudi Arabia – so don’t be afraid to explore.



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In this career guide, Reem Abuzeid and Lama Almofadhi (Architect,GIGA Project Development department,Public Investment Fund), two accomplished architects, provide invaluable insights into the world of architecture within Saudi Arabia's real estate sector.

They offer their unique perspectives on the profession, shedding light on the local landscape, cultural influences, and the transformative Vision 2030 initiative. Their expertise, experiences, and perspectives offer a comprehensive understanding of the industry's nuances and opportunities.

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