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Event Insider: Saudi Construction

Saudi Arabia’s largest industry event ‘Saudi Construction’ debuts on March 21-25 in Riyadh. The Big Project takes a peek behind the scenes, including a look at opportunities in KSA’s lucrative development market

The Saudi Construction Show is taking place from March 21-25 in Riyadh and is expected to be the largest construction machinery, equipment, building material and vehicles exhibition the Kingdom has hosted.

The show will provide a lucrative platform for worldwide contractors and suppliers to unite, according to show organiser, CPI.

Furthermore, visitors and exhibitors will have the opportunity to discuss deals and there will also be opportunities for contractors to view and test the latest equipment available on the market.

“We’re expecting to have a large number of exhibitors each showcasing a wide variety of leading brands in the construction machinery, equipment and vehicle sector,” says CPI sales director Raz Islam.

Exhibitors include Medco, Al Rassam, GTE, Abahasain, Kanoo Group, AAA and Zahid Tractor, among many more.

Also exhibiting is Saudi Arabia-based Rajhi Steel, which has a 120m2 stand at the event. The firm produces high-quality steel that is less vulnerable to corrosion and lasts longer than some alternatives due to the unique way it is manufactured, according to the company.

We’re expecting to have a large number of exhibitors showcasing a wide variety of leading brands”

When asked whether customers were looking at quality, not just price, company representative Faisal Binadean says there is a mix of buyer types — the first are predominantly interested in brand and service, and a second who simply look at price.

One of Rajhi Steel’s main objectives at the show is to meet new customers and “keep in touch” with existing ones in the Saudi Arabian and wider GCC market.

“The stand is made from steel and will host ideas about the material and how it can be used more efficiently. This is a good chance for us to be hospitable and to provide a chance for people to meet us,” says Binadean.

Binadean adds that the firm is positive about the show’s prospects and expects to make a number of business deals.

“There are a lot of opportunities and projects in Saudi Arabia. The government budget for 2011 has allocated billions and billions of dollars to be spent on construction so this will move the economy forward,” he explains.

While he acknowledges the KSA market is an “open and competitive one”, Binadean highlights that is also a “huge” market.

Right time and place

The infrastructure segment of the market has developed healthily over the last two years, with a major redesign of Riyadh’s internal road and transport system”

Last month, the Ministry of Industry gave its support to the inaugural Saudi Construction Show, against a backdrop of HH King Abdullah’s multi-billion dollar cash boost in the housing and infrastructure projects sector.

Riyadh alone has seen its population grow fivefold since 1960. The city’s success, according to the Riyadh Development Authority, is due a combination of its geography and strategic international status.

In an interview with The Big Project at the end of last year, formwork company RMD Kwikform regional manager Peter Gibson said: “There is a focus on infrastructure in the east of Saudi Arabia and there are a few mega projects in the West, but the central region seems to have covered the whole spectrum of projects.”

“The infrastructure segment of the market has developed healthily over the last two years, with a major redesign of Riyadh’s internal road and transport system; mega projects in the infrastructure market show the commitment to upgrading the Kingdom as a whole.”

In addition to the housing requirements, the city must meet the major schemes currently underway, which will contribute to an additional 1.3 million square metres of office space by 2015 and 2.9 million metres squared of retail space to be delivered by 2014.

Outside Riyadh

Meanwhile, KSA’s second city, Jeddah, has expanded a staggering 1000-fold over the past 60 years.

Last October, Ziad Aazam, director of planning and strategic studes for the Jeddah Development and Urban Regeneration Company (JDURC) told The Big Project that the city plays an important role in providing a place for higher education and knowledge generation, health services, cultural exchange, governmental services and recreational, hospitality and industrial provisions.

In addition to plans for a myriad of skyscrapers and mega projects, Jeddah updated its infrastructure plans in a five-year strategy.

As well as airport expansion, plans include substations, solar-power plants, railways, roads and ongoing projects at Jeddah Islamic Seaport, which will have its capacity doubled by 2020.

The strategy committed a 15.7% share of the $384 billion budget for transport developments. In Jeddah, a 15-month review is underway.

Contractors and suppliers looking to grow outside Jeddah or Riyadh, also have access to diverse developments in Dammam.

The primary industries in Dammam are oil, manufacturing and shipping, with activity concentrated in industrial zones away from residential and recreational developments.

The significance of the zones is outlined in the National Industrial Development Strategy, a blueprint for economic diversity on a national and international scale.

The city’s second industry is tourism; making the most of the area’s geography and heritage are a number of waterfront developments, recreational spaces and cultural buildings.

Unlike the religious tourism seen in other provinces, Dammam’s reputation as a holiday destination is purely about relaxation and culture, extending to the country’s largely expatriate population.

Among the ongoing waterfront developments is the King Abdullah Civic Centre and Dammam Corniche.

In fact, there are a number of communities and tourist attractions currently under construction, with private developments spearheaded by the likes of Emaar and Injaz.

With so many project opportunities, it is no wonder event organisers are looking to bring contractors, suppliers and manufacturers together in the Kingdom. At the end of last month, DMG brought The Big 5 to KSA.

Look out for April issue of The Big Project for show highlights, including visitor and exhibitor comments.

Fast Facts

Location: Riyadh, KSA. Al Khurais Road,opposite Zahid Tractor

Date: March 21-25

Time: 4pm-10pm daily

Categories: Construction machinery, equipment, building materials, machines and vehicles

Special features: Live equipment demos, one of the region’s largest formwork and scaffolding displays

Website: www.saudiconstructionshow.com

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