MEED February 2023 Webinar: Saudi Arabia 2023 Outlook and 2022 Review

26 February 2023

The webinar focuses on discussing the economic outlook, investment opportunities, and business strategies in Saudi Arabia for the year 2023.

As a MEED subscriber, you will be invited to exclusive monthly webinars on the trending topics in the region’s top sectors.

Saudi Arabia 2023 Outlook and 2022 Review brings together industry experts, government officials, and business leaders to share their insights and perspectives on the current state and future of the Saudi Arabian economy.

The discussion covers a range of topics, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, the government’s plans for economic diversification, and investment opportunities in various sectors such as healthcare, infrastructure, and renewable energy.

The webinar provides an interactive platform for participants to engage with the speakers, ask questions, and exchange ideas. It also offers networking opportunities for participants to connect with other business professionals and potential partners in Saudi Arabia.

Related Articles
  • UK firm lands lead role on world’s largest airport

    29 February 2024


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    UK-based Mace has won the delivery partner role on the world’s largest airport project, the King Salman International airport (KSIA) scheme in Riyadh.

    MEED reported in November last year that international firms were competing for the role. 

    Delivery partner roles typically involve assisting the project client with the development of the project. This includes project management, design management, cost consulting and procurement advice.

    Mace has extensive experience on airport projects and has worked on London’s Heathrow airport for over 30 years. In 2023, it was appointed as the delivery partner on three major infrastructure improvement projects at Heathrow.

    For KSIA, Foster + Partners, also based in the UK, won the competition to design the masterplan. The architectural firm is now working on the concept designs for the airport’s buildings, while US-based Jacobs is working on the infrastructure design for the airport.

    The project covers an area of about 57 square kilometres, allowing for six parallel runways, and will include the existing terminals at King Khalid International airport (KKIA). It will also include 12 sq km of airport support facilities, residential and recreational facilities, retail outlets and other logistics real estate. It is the largest airport project in the world, according to GlobalData.

    If the project is completed on time in 2030, it will become the world’s largest operating airport in terms of passenger capacity.

    The airport aims to accommodate up to 120 million passengers by 2030 and 185 million by 2050. For cargo, the goal is to process 3.5 million tonnes a year by 2050.

    There were contract awards for construction work at KKIA last year. In June, a joint venture of Turkiye’s IC Ictas and the local Al Rashid Trading & Contracting was awarded the contract to complete the renovation of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The joint venture finished renovating terminals 3 and 4 earlier this year.

    Aviation strategy

    Saudi Arabia plans to invest $100bn in its aviation sector. Riyadh’s Saudi Aviation Strategy, announced by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca), envisages tripling Saudi Arabia’s annual passenger traffic to 330 million travellers by 2030.

    It also aims to increase air cargo traffic to 4.5 million tonnes and raise the country’s total air connections to more than 250 destinations. 

    Global industry

    The global airport projects pipeline, as tracked by GlobalData, is worth $580.4bn, slightly less than the $588.4bn pipeline recorded in Q4 2023.

    The global pipeline is dominated by projects in the advanced stages of development, with 78.2% of projects in the pre-execution and execution phases. This amounts to $453.7bn in total value.

    Of this amount, $329bn is in the execution stage and $124.7bn is in the pre-execution stages of design, tender, and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) award. Projects in the early stages account for a relatively small share, with 21.8% of the pipeline by value, reflecting projects in the pre-planning stage (announcement and study) and planning stages.
    Colin Foreman
  • Roshn has 50,000 homes under construction

    28 February 2024

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    Saudi gigaproject developer Roshn is busy building residential units while diversifying its business at the same time.

    “We’ve got 50,000 homes in construction,” said David Grover, CEO of Roshn, speaking on stage at McKinsey’s Global Infrastructure Initiative in Dubai on 28 February.

    Roshn, which was founded in 2019, builds homes that are sold to local Saudi nationals.

    “We sold $2.5bn-worth of homes last year and collected the cash,” said Grover. “That shows how quickly Roshn has come from setting up a company with only 35 to 40 people and now having 1,500.”

    The houses are part of the community housing gigaproject that Roshn is developing across the kingdom. “Our communities might have between 25,000 and 50,000 homes. That’s a city of 250,000 people,” he said.

    As Roshn builds homes, it is also diversifying its business by establishing units that will develop other real estate assets and social infrastructure and provide related services for the property businesses.

    “The business has morphed and changed a lot,” said Grover. “We’ve become a multi-faceted real estate developer. So now we’re developing 2 million square metres of commercial space. We have 1,000 schools and 1,000 mosques. We are delivering substations, sewage treatment plants, and six to eight-lane highways. We also have a dotcom business.”
    Colin Foreman
  • Read the March 2024 MEED Business Review

    28 February 2024

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    Saudi Arabia’s natural resources are estimated to be worth $2.5tn, making the metals and mining industry crucial to Riyadh’s Vision 2030 socioeconomic transformation strategy.

    The latest issue of MEED Business Review examines how the kingdom's Ministry of Industry & Mineral Resources is leading efforts to boost investment in the sector with a mineral exploration incentive programme valued at $182m.

    In January 2023, Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) signed a joint-venture agreement with the Public Investment Fund to establish a new entity to invest in mining assets globally, known as Manara Minerals. 

    Amid a surge in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the global mining sector, the new company entered into a deal in July last year with Brazilian mining major Vale to become a 10% shareholder in its subsidiary, Vale Base Metals. The $3.4bn deal was the third-biggest M&A transaction of the year, according to a GlobalData report that puts the total value of M&A deals in the sector in 2023 at $121bn. 

    Meanwhile, this month's exclusive 14-page market report highlights Egypt, which faces both political and economic trials. In an increasingly difficult fiscal position, Egypt also finds itself sitting at the centre of regional conflict, with the situation in Gaza threatening to spill over onto Egyptian soil. Renewed IMF funding promises to solve one problem for Cairo, but there are plenty more waiting.

    MEED's latest issue is packed with insight and analysis. The team examines the IMF's downgrade of its Mena growth forecast; looks at the utility infrastructure schemes taking shape at Saudi Arabia's Neom; and assesses the rise in military spending in the region following geopolitical instability. 

    In this month's industry report on upstream oil and gas, we predict that after a record year for offshore projects in 2023, the momentum will continue this year with further robust spending. 

    The March issue also includes interviews with Rua Al Madinah Holding CEO Ahmed Al Juhani and Hill International CEO Raouf Ghali.

    We hope our valued subscribers enjoy the March 2024 issue of MEED Business Review


    Must-read sections in the March 2024 issue of MEED Business Review include:

    AGENDA: Saudi Arabia transforms mining sectorMergers soar in global mining sector

    > CURRENT AFFAIRS: IMF downgrades Mena growth forecastThe world is heading for massive LNG oversupply

    > INSIGHT: IEA downgrades green hydrogen growth forecast

    > SAUDI ARABIA: Neom’s utility projects take shape

    Upstream oil and gas
    Offshore spending to remain robust in 2024

    > Aramco continues its hunt for hydrocarbons


    > MILITARY BALANCE: Instability drives up defence budgets

    > INTERVIEWS: Driving Madinah’s economic developmentSaudi project win caps record year

    > SAUDI TOURISM: Saudi tourism numbers cross 100 million

    > LOGISTICS: Aramco and DHL form joint logistics company

    Cairo beset by regional geopolitical storm
    More pain for more gain for Egypt
    Egypt oil and gas project activity declines
    Familiar realities threaten Egypt’s energy hub ambitions
    Egypt’s desalination projects inch forward
    > Infrastructure carries Egypt construction

    Abha airport PPP is a brave new project

    Riyadh directive casts doubt on key Aramco projects
    PIF steps in to save construction again
    Corruption case comes at key time for Saudi projects

    > GULF PROJECTS INDEX: UAE drives further projects growth

    > JANUARY 2024 CONTRACTS: Region begins year with a record $30.5bn-worth of contract awards

    > MARKET SNAPSHOT: Mena construction insights

    > OPINIONSyria’s long march in from the cold

    BUSINESS OUTLOOK: Finance, oil and gas, construction, power and water contracts

    To see previous issues of MEED Business Review, please click here
    MEED Editorial
  • Gas Arabian confirms selection for Master Gas System

    28 February 2024

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    Saudi contractor Gas Arabian Services Company has confirmed receiving non-binding letters of intent from Saudi Aramco for two packages of the third expansion phase of the Master Gas System (MGS-3).

    MEED recently reported that Aramco selected Gas Arabian to execute engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) works on packages 3 and 12 of the MGS-3 project.

    In a filing with the Saudi Exchange (Tadawul), where it is listed, Gas Arabian said the value of package 3 is $91.89m. The scope of work on the package involves laying 56-inch east-west gas pipelines 3 and 4 from EWPS-1 to Shedgum, covering 56 kilometres.

    In a separate Tadawul filing on 27 February, Gas Arabian said the value of package 12 is $111m. The scope of work on the package covers the laying of 16-inch, 12-inch and 4-inch lateral pipelines in the Eastern Province and Qassim region clusters, covering a total distance of 116km.

    The duration of the letters of intent issued by Aramco is 90 days, Dammam-based Gas Arabian said in its Tadawul filings.

    MGS-3 expansion project

    Gas Arabian is among 11 contractors named by MEED as being selected by Aramco for 16 EPC packages of the estimated $10bn MGS-3 expansion project.

    Aramco has divided EPC works on the MGS-3 project into 17 packages. The first two packages involve upgrading existing gas compression systems and installing new gas compressors.

    The 15 other packages relate to laying gas transport pipelines across various locations in the kingdom.

    According to sources, Aramco issued letters of intent to the following contractors for 16 EPC packages of the MGS-3 project:

    • Package 1 – China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Company (China)
    • Package 2 – Sepco (China)
    • Packages 3 + 12 – Gas Arabian (Saudi Arabia)
    • Packages 4 + 9 – Mapa (Turkey)
    • Packages 6 + 7 – Sinopec Petroleum Services (China)
    • Packages 8 – Larsen & Toubro Energy Hydrocarbon (India)
    • Packages 10 + 14 – Nesma & Partners (Saudi Arabia)/Sicim (Italy)
    • Packages 13 + 15 + 17 – Kalpataru Power Transmission (India)
    • Package 5 – Bin Quraya (Saudi Arabia)
    • Package 11 – Max Streicher (Germany)/National Basics Company (Saudi Arabia)

    Package 16, which was originally part of the tendering process for the MGS-3 project, has been carved out as a separate tender by Aramco, the sources added.

    Aramco did not respond to MEED’s request for comment on the information.

    The original Master Gas System (MGS) was built in the 1970s and commissioned in 1982. Since then, Aramco has been supplying natural gas to its customers across Saudi Arabia via the network, mainly channelling associated gas from Ghawar and other oil fields.

    Over the past decade, amid rising gas demand from Saudi Arabia’s industrial and household sectors, Aramco has undertaken projects to increase its non-associated gas production. It launched the second expansion phase of the MGS (MGS-2) in 2015.

    Local contractor Arkad Engineering & Construction won the three main pipeline packages of MGS-2, worth an estimated $1.3bn, in early 2016.

    EPC works were completed in 2021, increasing the MGS’s gas handling and transport capacity from 8.4 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) to 12.5 billion cf/d.
    Indrajit Sen
  • Agreement signed for Al Ula real estate project

    28 February 2024

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    Saudi Arabia's Royal Commission for Al Ula (RCU), Al Ula Development Company and local real estate developer Saudi Real Estate Company (Al Akaria) have signed a five-year agreement to develop the Sidrat Al Ula project in the Al Ula Governorate.

    Al Akaria will develop the 260,230 square-metre (sq m) project, according to the statement published on the Saudi Stock Exchange, Tadawul. The project comprises 810 residential units, including 570 apartments and 240 villas and townhouses.

    It will have commercial and retail facilities with a gross floor area of 36,760 sq m. The statement outlined that the total development cost will be determined within 120 days from the date of the contract signing.

    In April 2021, the RCU unveiled an investment plan worth SR57bn ($15bn) to regenerate the Al Ula tourism destination in the Medina region.

    Under this plan, approximately $3.2bn has been allocated for infrastructure development, including constructing an environmentally friendly tramway and establishing renewable energy sources to meet 50 per cent of the development's energy requirements.
    Yasir Iqbal