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Jeddah needs almost one million housing units over next 20 years

JEDDAH: Jeddah needs almost a million housing units over the next 20 years, says a strategic plan prepared by the Jeddah municipality.

Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported, citing Saudi-based Arab News, that the plan has been released to coincide with the Jeddah International Real State, Finance and Housing Exhibition 2010 (JIREX 2010), which opened here on March 1 at the Jeddah Center for Forums and Events.

The Jeddah municipality's plan is based on present shortages and future requirements. Currently there is a shortage of 283,000 housing units including 80,000 in the low-income group.

The plan calls for building 151,600 units for accommodating people living in underdeveloped areas and 51,500 units to meet the demand of population growth.

With regard to future requirement, the strategic plan foresees a need of 570,000 units in the next 20 years, the municipality said, adding that demand for housing was increasing due to the presence of a large number of expatriate workers and inflow of people from villages and cities, apart from population growth.

Nationwide accommodation needs have been estimated at more than five million new housing units by 2020. The plan says Saudi Arabia will require SR2.4 trillion (RM2.17 trllion) investment in real estate over the next 20 years.

Meanwhile, the five-day exhibition has attracted more than 60 real estate and investment companies while some 500 experts from the private and public sector as well as a large number of visitors are expected at the exhibition.

JIREX 2010, in its eighth year, has emerged as the most prominent economic event for experts and specialists not only in Saudi Arabia but in the entire Gulf region and Arab countries.

So far it has generated business deals worth over SR10 billion. Alongside the exhibition a number of seminars covering topics such as architecture, investment and financing will be conducted by a number of academics, top decision makers and businessmen. -- Bernama

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