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Abdullatif Al Shelash and the Future of Saudi Real Estate

Saudi real estate is projected to soar to new heights over the next decade — and Sheikh Abdullatif Al Shelash is on the front lines of the action as a Saudi Home Loans board member and partner in Alaqtar Real Estate Development Company. Al Shelash says he’s eager to encourage the power of the Kingdom’s real estate momentum.

Saudi Arabia is using its latest real estate feats such as the Neom project to generate new buzz around the Kingdom and shy away from an economy dependent on oil. Saudi is also making moves to beef up its involvement in electronic sports and the gaming industry.

Construction in Saudi Arabia is going strong, with $6.7 billion in contracts recorded during Q3 2022, according to a U.S. Saudi Business Council report.

Realiste CEO Alex Galtsev told news channel Al Arabiya that over the next 10 years, Saudi has nothing but potential — and property investors could be swarming soon.

Al Shelash says investing in Saudi real estate is a solid move. “If you look at the ages of a certain population, it’s a growing country,” Abdullatif Al Shelash confides. “Single family [starting] income has increased. That, on its own, will contribute more to purchases of real estate.”

Working on the mortgage laws with International Finance Corporation and the World Bank since 2004, Abdullatif Al Shelash says there is a more robust flow of liquidity coming into the Saudi real estate sector and it’s encouraging investors. He should know — Al Shelash is a Saudi real estate investor himself.

Saudi Seeking Investors To Fuel Its Economic Goals

In August 2022, the Saudi government started the Saudi Investment Promotion Authority to reinforce ties between foreign and local investors. And in October, Forbes reported that the Saudi government is actively seeking investors. Under a national investment strategy launched in October, the government is looking to attract $103 billion yearly in foreign direct investment by 2030 to feed its economy.

Saudi Arabia is also aiming to get its slice of the supply chain pie by dumping money into a fund to invest in raw materials such as copper, nickel, and lithium. Bloomberg reports it’s also part of the country’s plan to be “a global mining hub.” With supply chain woes continuing to cause significant disruptions globally, it’s another opportunity for Saudi Arabia to spearhead even more ambitious projects. The capital city of Riyadh was recently the backdrop for the Future Minerals Forum. More than 6,000 people from more than 130 countries attended the event. Renewable energy, reimagining mining, and decarbonizing supply chains were some of the topics discussed.

Saudi real estate continues to be a much talked-about commodity as it’s on a path to register a compound annual growth rate of more than 9.74% through 2027. With a population of over 36 million, which is expanding by more than 2% each year, and 45% of the country’s population under 20 years old, the Kingdom is overflowing with young Saudis who are first-time home buyers.

For those seeking to buy second homes, property consultancy Knight Frank finds that 44% say it will be for themselves and their families, while 49% are strictly doing it for investment reasons. Not only is the demand for second homes flourishing, but there’s a push for those to be luxury abodes.

Even the copious challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t keep the Saudi real estate market down for long. A study by Research and Markets states that new housing units in Saudi Arabia increased in Q1 2021 and construction continues to boom. Urbanization and design have also undergone a major makeover in Saudi Arabia, with a new vision and ongoing focus on sustainability.

How Neom Is Redefining Saudi Architecture

Saudi Arabia is a dynamic dichotomy of ancient and modern flavors. Smart city Neom is a fresh source of futuristic architectural fodder. The urban work of art is set to house 9 million residents. At 200 meters wide, 170 kilometers long, and 500 meters above sea level, sans cars, roads, and pollution, Neom will allow its inhabitants brief walks to work, school, shopping, and other essential life activities. Food will flourish in hydroponic gardens and the project is offering various phases, with Sindalah opening first in 2024. The yacht-centric paradise will include unique boating, golfing, and dining experiences alongside Trojena, the Arabian Gulf’s first outdoor skiing retreat, and Oxagon, the largest floating structure in the world. British luxury automotive giant McLaren also opted into Neom’s universe by inking a sponsorship deal focused on McLaren’s newly formed Formula E and Extreme E teams, with Neom gaining the title sponsorship rights to both.

Neom is just one of the ambitious real estate endeavors Sheikh Abdullatif Al Shelash says is setting the Kingdom apart from competitors in the real estate sphere.

Saudi Arabia Is Getting Some Star-Studded Love Lately

It seems the world is sitting up and taking notice of the Saudi renaissance. Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo landed a $75 million a year contract to play for the Saudi Professional League club Al Nassr. Ronaldo has been posting images on his Instagram, showing him spending time with his family around Riyadh. His partner, Georgina Rodriguez, posted photos on her Instagram with Ronaldo at Riyadh Winter Wonderland, a 93-acre theme park featuring more than 80 rides.

Although Ronaldo isn’t capitalizing on any Riyadh real estate just yet, he’s reportedly enjoying some seriously luxurious digs in the Four Seasons hotel’s Kingdom Suite. Ronaldo and his family have also allegedly settled on a sizable mansion in which to stay in the capital of Riyadh, but they haven’t moved in yet, according to the Daily Mail.

Johnny Depp has also been in Saudi news. The A-list actor was spotted visiting the historic, ancient city of AlUla in Saudi Arabia. Depp appeared in an Instagram photo with Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, who is Saudi Arabia’s minister of culture and governor of the Royal Commission for AlUla. Depp is set to play King Louis XV in the film Jeanne du Barry. Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea International Film Festival will financially back the upcoming French period drama.

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