Saudi Focus


August 2016

Al Zamil, Swiss International ink deal

Al Zamil real estate group, one of the arms of the Zamil Group, has signed an agreement with hospitality chain Swiss International for a new hotel at Al Qassim Touristic City project.

The Al Qassim touristic project, is spread over an area of 95,000 sq m, is said to be the biggest of its kind in the Al Qassim province. The Swiss International Al Qassim touristic project will offer 35 rooms, three restaurants, a banquet hall, with a capacity of 1,000 persons, a tennis court, conference rooms and a children’s entertainment centre.


Caparol opens showroom in kingdom

Caparol, a Germany-based paint and insulation manufacturer, has launched its new showroom in Riyadh, as part of its expansion strategy in the region.

The new store, located in the Al Waha district of Riyadh, spans across 1,000 sq m of showroom space and showcases an array of innovative products and colour stands, aimed at supporting interior designers, professionals and home owners. 

Caparol has designed the new showroom to portray the brand’s German roots by showcasing conventional and modern product ranges, while maintaining the unique aesthetic aspects of its colours and textures.


KAEC sets up realty services unit

King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), a special economic zone in Saudi Arabia, has announced the establishment of a new ‘Select Real Estate Services’ department. The new unit will provide resale and rental services for residential units and land already purchased by investors in KAEC. 

The new department highlights the city’s efforts to diversify its income, said Fahd Al Rasheed, the group chief executive and managing director of KAEC.


Siemens turbines for Jazan plant

Technology major Siemens has delivered the first shipment of its locally produced gas turbines to the integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant in Jazan.

The locally produced turbines are in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 and Saudi Aramco’s In-Kingdom Total Value Add (iktva) programme, said Siemens.

This is the world’s largest power plant of its kind that will be fuelled with gasified refinery residues, it said.

Siemens is supplying a total of 10 gas turbines – that were specifically designed for synthesis gas (syngas) – to Saudi Aramco’s landmark project, it added. They will power the 4,000 MW power plant and generate 600 tonnes of high pressure steam per hour for Aramco’s refinery, which is an essential part of the overall development of Jazan Economic City, the company said.


Khodari registers Q2 net loss

Saudi contractor Abdullah Abdul Mohsin Al Khodari and Sons said it swung to a net loss in the second quarter as earnings were pressured once again by a slowdown in the kingdom’s building sector.

The company made a net loss of SR43.34 million ($11.6 million) in the three months to June 30 compared to a profit of SR34.86 million ($9.29 million) in the year-earlier period.

In June, Al Khodari said it would book a SR19.4 million ($5 million) special loss after it received state permission to reallocate a government contract it won in 2014 to another company.


Crane disaster suspects to face trial

Suspects including engineers and two government employees will face trial in Saudi Arabia over the deaths of 107 people when a crane toppled over at Makkah’s Grand Mosque last year, a local newspaper that reflects government thinking reported.

The Arabic-language Al Riyadh newspaper quoted a source as saying that investigators and the prosecution had completed an eight-month investigation into the case that was conducted in secrecy and which involved questioning a number of suspects. The first hearing is expected to take place shortly, it added.

Soon after the tragedy, the government swung into action and suspended construction giant Saudi Binladin Group, the main contractor on the mosque expansion, from seeking new contracts and placed travel bans on its senior executives, penalties that were later lifted.


Tax ‘to cut property prices by 40pc’

The introduction of the 2.5 per cent annual tax on unused land by the Saudi government is likely to bring down the property prices by up to 40 per cent in areas outside the main cities, said a report.

The new ‘white land tax’ is also expected to increase investment in the property sector, stabilise the market and see major developments over the next two years, reported the Arab News, citing property experts.

Mansour Abu Riyash, chairman of the real estate committee at Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the tax would see prices drop between 20 and 40 per cent over the next two years and then stabilise. It would also boost the market over the next three years.

He estimated that 40 per cent of land in major cities were not being used, which could result in returns of up to SR30 billion ($8 billion) if developed, he stated.

Khalid Al Ghamdi, chairman of the real estate committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), pointed out that the fees would boost the sector and bring prices back to normal levels.


Wison wins petchem project

Wison Engineering, a leading chemical engineering, procurement and construction management service and technology provider in China, said it has won an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contract for an ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol (EOEG) project in Saudi Arabia.

As per the contract, Wison Engineering will be responsible for the expansion of the EOEG facilities and auxiliary units. The project is scheduled to be mechanically completed in the third quarter of 2017. EOEG is one of the mainstream technologies being used in glycol production globally, and is also an important process of ethylene downstream industry.


Shipbuilding complex on cards

Saudi Arabia will build a maritime complex on its east coast, with shipbuilding capability, to support oil exports, a report said.

The kingdom also will have a shipping fleet that will match its oil capabilities, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih was quoted as saying in an Oman Observer report.


Veolia to build waste recycling plant

Veolia, a French water and energy management company, and OGE have partnered to build, own and operate a hazardous waste landfill, recycling and incineration plant at Jubail Industrial City, a report said.

The agreement includes industrial and medical waste collection and treatment services with an investment of $100 million, added the Saudi Gazette report.

The preliminary licences to develop the facilities have already been obtained by OGE and the construction is expected to start by the first quarter of 2017, it said.


DC Pro boosts Saudi operations

UAE-based DC Pro Engineering, a leader in district energy, co-generation, tri-generation and sustainability designs, has partnered with Taqnia Energy, a subsidiary of Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company, to boost its operations in the kingdom.

DC Pro Engineering said its technical experience will be complemented by Taqnia Energy’s marketing capabilities and existing network. The Emirati engineering firm has been present in Saudi Arabia for eight years and currently holds a market share of around 30 to 40 per cent in district cooling. It has been engaged in the design, construction, or post-construction for some of the GCC’s mega projects including the Jeddah Tower, the new King Abdul Aziz International Airport and Riyadh’s Al Bustan II Development, in Saudi Arabia. The company is also involved in the Khalifa Stadium project in Qatar, Maryah Island and Saadiyat Island projects in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the Innovation Park in Muscat, Oman.

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