Saudi Build

Mega developments such as the King Abdullah Financial City have been fuelling growth in the construction sector.

Mega developments such as the King Abdullah Financial City have been fuelling growth in the construction sector.

Market magnet

October 2015

Saudi Build has emerged as the country’s largest B2B construction fair, providing an important platform for players to exchange knowledge on market trends and updates.

More than 850 exhibitors from 38 countries will be taking part in this year’s Saudi Build, Saudi Arabia’s longest running construction technology and building materials exhibition that gives contractors, real estate developers and building owners a valuable insight into the kingdom’s buoyant construction sector.

Organised by the Riyadh Exhibitions Company (REC) and held under the patronage of Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Abdullatif bin Abdulmalek bin Omar Al Shaikh, the 27th edition of the show will be staged at the end of this month (October 26 to 29) at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre (RIEC).

HRH Prince Saud Abdullah Alfaisal bin Abdulaziz, chairman of the board of REC, says: “Throughout our rich history, we have maintained our name as the leading construction event within the country. Gathering tens of thousands of manufacturers and exporters from all over the world, and hundreds of thousands of importers and industry professionals across the region, Saudi Build is dedicated to offering an opportunity for professionals to talk about pertinent issues in the market today and provide a conducive environment for potential deals. This year, Saudi Build 2015 will put the spotlight on the country’s expanding economy and highlight industry value and growth.”

Last year’s edition attracted 23,215 visitors, and the upcoming event is expected to draw even bigger crowds, according to REC.

“The event has emerged as the country’s largest business-to-business construction fair and has become an integral part of a dynamic and rapidly expanding market,” says Shahid Bhatti, marketing specialist with REC.

Prince Saud ... leading construction event.

Prince Saud ... leading construction event.

He continues: “Saudi Build plays an increasingly important role in promoting partnerships among key industry influencers and providing a platform for private and public entities to discuss and exchange market trends and updates.

“It is a trusted avenue for industry leaders and professionals to gauge the current market outlook, leverage the country’s construction market, and showcase its growing industry.”

Visitors to the leading Saudi construction showcase will get to see the latest offerings in building materials and equipment; architectural finishing products; stone, marble and granite products; construction tools and technology; engineering services; infrastructure materials; and security and safety systems, among others.

They will also have an opportunity to establish new representation agreements, expand their existing business, and source their project needs, all under one prime location.

The show provides an important window to the opportunities that the kingdom’s building and construction sector offers. Bhatti says Saudi Arabia construction industry is expected to continue its growth in the next few years with the value of projects planned and under way estimated at over $1 trillion, covering transport, infrastructure, utilities, education, healthcare and other key sectors. “Massive construction projects in the country, particularly around social and transport infrastructure, offer tremendous opportunities valued at multibillion dollars for contractors and investors,” he says.

“The Saudi construction industry’s output is expected to record a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.98 per cent. The need to overcome the housing shortage for a rising population as well as efforts to develop the transport network and renewable energy infrastructure will further enhance industry growth,” says Bhatti.

The market recorded a CAGR of 10.06 per cent between 2009 and 2013, during which growth in the construction industry was supported by the Ninth Five-Year Development Plan 2010-2014. Industrial construction will be supported by a sustained government focus on diversifying the country’s economy.


Saudi Build 2014 ... drew 23,215 visitors.

Saudi Build 2014 ... drew 23,215 visitors.

Market drivers

One of the key market drivers in Saudi Arabia for the coming months is a strong infrastructure push.

Bhatti says almost a decade ago, the kingdom realised the need to upgrade its roads, railways, ports and airports in an effort to attract private investment.

“The 2015 budget reflects this prioritisation, directing its third largest allocation of $167.82 billion toward the transport and infrastructure sectors,” he says.

Current rail and road projects in focus are Riyadh Metro, Makkah Railway, and the new Saudi-Bahrain Causeway. Airport construction and upgrades, on the other hand, include Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport, Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport, and new regional airports. In addition, the kingdom is working to build mega cities including King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh; Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Mouseaed Economic City in Hail; Knowledge Economic City in Madinah; and Jazan Economic City in Jazan over the long term. It will continue to upgrade infrastructure in the mega industrial cities of Jubail, Yanbu and Ras Al Khair.

“Another market driver is social infrastructure. Saudi Arabia realises that in order to sustain development and feed the need for skilled labour, the skills of the local population will have to be built and developed from within the economy. It has, therefore, made investments in education, healthcare and housing. It plans to build 28 new universities and about 10,000 new-generation schools which are expected to be operational by the next decade. The country’s affordable housing projects will address the need for nearly 5.5 million new homes to drive growth in the medium and long term.

“The 2015 budget has allocated nearly 44 per cent towards education and healthcare expenditures, with health alone accounting for 19 per cent of the budget. The healthcare infrastructure includes three new hospitals, three blood banks, 11 medical centres, and 10 comprehensive care clinics as well as numerous primary care centres that will be constructed across various governorates of the country from January 2015 onwards,” he adds.

Similarly, 164 new educational projects have been earmarked in the 2015 budget, including construction of three new universities, vocational and technical colleges, and schools and sports centres as well as the refurbishment of others.

However, Bhatti says the most important of the market drivers is a strong demand base. “This is currently the most important driver in the Saudi market with a population growth rate of over two per cent and nearly 40 per cent being under the age of 14.”

Saudi Build ... showcases the latest offerings in building materials and equipment.

Saudi Build ... showcases the latest offerings in building materials and equipment.

Given this backdrop, the market is set to witness a surge in project activity as increasing private and public investments boost the project numbers and values, says Bhatti, adding the participation at Saudi Build will provide a valuable opportunity to network with decision makers and an insight into the latest products and technology available to executive Saudi Arabia’s construction programme.

Saudi Build 2015 boasts a significant number of international exhibitors, including those from Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, China, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, UK, and US. The event will also see participation from major Saudi manufacturers and suppliers, such as Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), Saudi Marble and Granite, Saudi Ceramics, Zamil Industries, Attieh Steel, Solb Steel, Al Jawadah Group, Exa Ceramics, Ebba House, Al Koblan, Doka, KiCE Construction Equipment, National Polyethyene Company (NPC), Rico, and National Water Works Company (NWWC), among many other impressive names.

Bhatti says Saudi Build has since its inception been hailed as the region’s foremost construction show, firmly establishing itself as the focal point for the country’s growing and diversifying construction market. It is the only construction trade show in Saudi Arabia accredited by UFI, granted only to top-notch professional events managed by organisers with proven track records in international exhibitions.

Also held concurrently with Saudi Build will be the Saudi Build PMV series and Saudi Stone-Tech. The PMV series is the sixth edition of the exhibition for construction equipment, plant, machinery and vehicles ranging from aluminium profiling and cutting machines to generators and woodworking and engraving machines.

Saudi Stone-Tech is organised by REC in collaboration with Veronafiere, the organiser of the renowned Marmomacc held annually in Verona in Italy for the past 45 years, and Confindustria Marmomacchine (Associazione Italiana marmomacchine), the Italian Association of manufacturers and users of machinery and equipment for natural stone processing.

The events will take place at the RIEC, located on the King Abdullah Road, between Eastern Ring Road Exit 10 and Othman Bin Affaan Road. RIEC covers an area of 26,000 sq m consisting of 20,000 sq m of indoor space in five main halls and a temporary built structure and 6,000 sq m of outdoor area with ample car parking for over 1000 cars.

The show runs from 4 pm to 9.30 pm daily from October 26 to 29.

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