Dammam housing project halted for redesign

Project of 4,800 units to face delays after Saudi Ministry of Housing asks for fresh design proposals


Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Housing has ordered developers to stop work on a 4,800-unit housing project in Dammam and submit alternative design proposals, according to Arab News.

The newspaper said that the ministry issued official letters on Thursday to the eight Saudi developers who won bids to build and sell the 4,800 housing units in the Housing 2 project along the Riyadh-Dammam-Qatif highway, instructing them not to go ahead with the project.

The developers have now been asked to provide the ministry with new design proposals for the buildings which incorporate new requirements and standards, such as increasing the percentage of built-up area to cover up to 50% of the total project land, ensuring buildings include a maximum of seven stories, and including a mandatory three apartments on each floor, the report said.

The paper quoted an official at the ministry as saying that the decision was taken by the ministry’s General Department for Real Estate Development. The main reason behind it was reportedly the ministry’s aim to increase land utilisation to serve more individuals entitled to receive housing support, as well as other “related developments”.

The eight companies had recently completed the final design process, which cost SR80 million, and were on the verge of beginning the foundation work, the paper said. They could now be looking at significant delays and losses, despite having signed contracts for more than 80% of the 4,800 total units in the project with both the ministry and the beneficiaries who were to receive the completed houses within 24 months.

The future homeowners – citizen beneficiaries who registered via the ministry’s portal – are also now looking at delays of a year or more to move into their new home, Arab News added.

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