Four days of intense and insightful panel discussions and presentations took place at the debut of Cityscape Global in Riyadh this week.
Government and business leaders and industry experts found an excellent platform for stakeholders to exchange ideas and do business.
Cityscape’s four-day NEOM Future of Living Summit also confirmed what has become evident in the minds of participants, delegates and guests – that Saudi Arabia will be a much different country in five years, given the lightning speed at which developments are rising.
The NEOM Future of Living Summit kicked off Cityscape Global’s impressive run by providing a venue for developers to announce their upcoming projects and initiatives. On the first day alone, a total of SAR210 bn was announced from leading developers such as Saudi’s National Housing Company, ROSHN, and King Salman Park Foundation.
These would subsequently be followed by announcements from King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), Sports Boulevard, Jeddah Central Development Co., and Masar among others.
The scale and scope of Saudi Arabia’s mega projects will redefine the country’s landscape, pave the way for urban transformation and strengthen the kingdom’s economic diversification efforts.
“All these align with Saudi’s Vision 2030 strategy, which aims to bring about a vibrant society and a thriving economy that will make the dreams of an ambitious nation a realty,” said His Excellency Majed bin Abdullah Al-Hogail, Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing, during his keynote speech.
PRESERVING CULTURE AND HERITAGE
Panel discussions also centered on preserving Saudi Arabia’s culture and heritage, while pursuing modernization not only through rapid infrastructure development, but also the adoption of advanced tech solutions, such as artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT), among others.
In addition, experts noted the importance of championing local talent, not just in terms of recruiting more Saudi nationals to be involved in giga-project initiatives, but also in training and retaining these talents by providing career advancement opportunities, onsite training as well as by implementing employee wellbeing programmes.
SUSTAINABILITY AND INVESTMENTS
For Saudi Arabia’s real estate project developers, sustainability is an important component as it aligns with the Saudi leadership’s vision.
“With the largest urban regeneration project in the world happening in Saudi, sustainability is going to be an important aspect of living in the kingdom,” said Jayne McGiven, CEO, Sport Boulevard Foundation.
With so many projects in the pipeline, Saudi Arabia is looking to attract more tourists and investments to pour into the kingdom as well as achieve its aspirations of enhancing the quality of life for its citizens, residents and guests. It is also looking to improve its ranking in the ‘Most Livable Cities in the World’ index.