Marcopolis presents the Saudi Arabia Report focused on the investments, doing business, economy and other topics featuring interviews with key executives. The sectors under review in this issue are industry, real-estate, ICT, investments, banking sector, telecom sector and many more.
In Arabic, the word saedan means “happy,” but for more than a century, the name Al Saedan refers to the premier firm in real estate marketing and development in Saudi Arabia: namely, the Al Saedan Real Estate Company.
Al Saedan Real Estate is one of the leading real-estate companies in Saudi Arabia. The company has a strong expertise in master-plan developments, land development, building commercial and residential centers, selling and buying local and international real estates, providing consultation in real estates, and providing valuation and estimation services. Al Saedan is an international real estate company with projects in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom.
The roots of the Al Saedan Real Estate Company go back more than a century, making it the oldest real estate company in the country, with in-depth experience tested and proven by decades. Today, Al Saedan Real Estate is one of the largest companies building residential compounds. It is also one of the leaders in high-rise construction, shopping centers, and multiple use developments.
To be a leading company in the field of real estate investment and development in the manner that meets the expectations and aspirations of our customers locally and globally.
- Promoting the methods for real estate development and investment and to find distinct and attractive real estate products in the course of construction renaissance through:
- Develop and support real estate industry, according to market needs and government trends.
- Leading the real estate market with an innovative vision. - Development of human resources and create healthy work environment. - Develop and commitment to work systems and policies. - To identify and meet customer’s needs and expectations.
- Continued development for our services and products to be of a high quality and available.
History of Al Saedan Real Estate - A Leading Real Estate Company in Saudi Arabia
The patriarch of the family is Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdullah Bin Saedan (18__-19__), who entered the real estate business shortly after the future king of Saudi Arabia, then Sheik Abdul Aziz (known as Ibn Al Saud, 1876-1953), conquered the city of Riyadh in 1902. With this conquest, peace and order were established in the region, and people began pouring into the city.
Up to this time, the prime necessity for residents was security, and people wanted to live within the walls of the city for protection. With the peaceful conditions established by Ibn Al Saud, Sheikh Mohammed Abdulla Bin Saedan, realizing that the population would soon overflow the walls, pioneered residential and commercial development in the open spaces outside the city proper, thus assuring the orderly growth of Riyadh into a major city.
Eventually in 1932, Ibn Al Saud united all the regions of the Arabian peninsula, establishing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Riyadh as its capital. In 1934, Sheikh Mohammed Abdulla Bin Saedan opened the first real estate office in Riyadh. Thereafter, multiple members of the family entered the real estate business as individuals or partners on specific projects. Today, Al Saedan family is the most important family in the Saudi real estate sector. Sheikh Mohammad’s sons, Abdullah, Fahd, Hamad and Ibrahim inherited the business. Each brother controls his own real estate company. Al Saedan Real Estate Company is controlled and founded by Sheikh Ibrahim Mohammed Bin Saedan, Abdullah Mohammed Bin Saedan and Sons Real Estate Company -- a joint venture -- is founded and controlled by Sheikh Abdullah Mohammed Bin Saedan, and Hamad Bin Saedan & Sons Real Estate Development Co. is founded and controlled by Sheikh Hamad Mohammed Bin Saedan. These three companies are currently under the management of the 3rd and 4th generation of Al Saedans.
The largest of the above mentioned branches is Al Saedan Real Estate Company. The companies controlled by Al Saedan family often form joint-ventures on large scale projects. Al Saedan Real Estate was founded by Ibrahim Bin Mohammed Bin Saedan, the present chairman of Al Saedan Real Estate Company, who is the son of the patriarch who entered the real estate business in 1902.
Dr. Bader Ibrahim Ibn Saedan, General Manager of Al Saedan Real Estate Company, is of the third generation, and explains what this family heritage means:
As one of the oldest real-estate company in the Kingdom, we have in-depth experience proven and tested by decades. … For example, I have been working in real estate since I was 10 years old, so I have more experience than the majority of people my age. In a family business in Saudi Arabia, before (not at this time), we used to work at an early age with our fathers or grandfathers or whoever else in our family. [Thus] The Saedan family always moved with the market, changed, morphed and followed new trends.
This experience is vital to anyone interested in investing in the Saudi real estate market today. For example, Dr. Ibrahim Ibn Saedan explains the intricacies of land ownership, which only someone long experienced in real estate development can understand and negotiate:
Thirty or forty years ago there were no technologies like the GIS systems, no computer systems, and geography was only visual and not digital. Saudi Arabia is a dessert; there are no trees, rivers, or anything that would clarify the boundaries between lands.These challenges result to frequent disputes and overlap of ownership, especially when the land was subdivided. If the neighbor was not involved in the subdivision, the other owner sometimes sold parcels that fell into the neighbor’s property. This is the most important obstacle of the real estate market currently. We understand that it is only because of the fast evolution of the market and the fast buying and selling that took place twenty years ago. But now it is a big challenge as to how to reconcile these accumulated problems together.
It’s really difficult to be 100% fair to both owners; both of them have to give up some of their rights to solve these issues.
Similarly, experience is vital to understand the complexities of the different real estate markets of the country, as Dr. Ibrahim Ibn Saedan explains:
Purchasing power of people in Riyadh is low, they cannot buy in any capital city, but they can buy in smaller cities. We have a problem in Riyadh. It’s the biggest city in Saudi Arabia, and at the same time, one-fifth or one-quarter of the population are living in Riyadh. The government has noticed this only in the last seven years, and that’s why they are building universities, creating jobs, building industrial centers in other cities, just to ease the demographic pressures in Riyadh.
In Jeddah, for example, the problem is that it’s much smaller in area than Riyadh and the development is limited. They have the sea on one side and the mountains on the other side, so they have to build in a strip along the sea. Nobody wants to live too far north or south; they want to be close to the city center. That’s why prices in Jeddah are higher than in Riyadh. Plus, Jeddah is the gateway to Mecca, so all non-Saudis want to live in Jeddah. They prefer Jeddah more than anywhere else because it’s close to Mecca and it is the gateway to Mecca. They have an international airport, an international seaport, an Islamic seaport, so Jeddah has more job opportunities because there is more tourism per se – Islamic tourism. Jeddah is more dependent on business. Riyadh is the capital city, and it depends completely on the government and international businesses. Jeddah is completely different.
The Eastern province on the other hand depends on the oil and gas sector. Most oil in Saudi Arabia, about 90%, is from the Eastern province. Foreign and local oil companies have all the jobs in the Eastern province, but in Riyadh there is the headquarters, the government sectors, and headquarters of huge companies like SABIC or others.
So each part of Saudi Arabia has its economic specialty. The jobs and economic activity affect the real estate prices because location is very important when investing in real estate. That is how we look at it.
Within this economic complexity and these vast differences in cities and regions, Al Saedan Real Estate Company’s long experience has made it one of the largest and most successful real estate development companies. “Currently,” as Dr. Bader points out, “the company is involved with multiple projects.”
First, Al Saedan Real Estate is one of the leading companies building residential compounds, with three projects. On the master land development front Al Saedan Real Estate is currently developing one million square meters land development starting 2014. We are now in negotiations with sub-developers to develop houses on that land, along with commercial strips and some other developments. Probably 50% will be land to be sold to end users.
Regarding our vertical developments, we are building a 30-story high-rise tower. We have two other towers for which the permits and design are completed. These two towers will be our flagship top-of-the-line developments.
We have five projects in Mecca. We have started construction on one of them and the other one will start this year; three others will continue and we are waiting for the permits.
Mecca is really a huge market for the next five years. When the Grand Mosque and the surrounding government projects are completed, the capacity of Mecca will be increased which means more residential compounds and hotels are needed in Mecca for pilgrims to find places to spend a few days time during the pilgrimage days, Ramadan, and all other seasons. Mecca is a seasonal market but the season is becoming longer. It was only two months a year but now it is becoming four, five or six months a year which really makes the market more stable.
Also in Medina, there are huge developments. The government has demolished many buildings and they have plans to demolish more. That means more space for new projects.
With Mecca, Jeddah grows as well. The future market over there in the Western province will really be a much bigger market than what it is now in Riyadh or the Eastern province.
The members of the Al Saedan Real Estate Company have been working in real estate for generations, passing down their knowledge, experience, expertise, and contacts in the community to successive generations, making them the most qualified real estate development company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Al Saedan is a leading real estate company in Saudi Arabia. With the portfolio of multi-billion dollar projects across the Kingdom. the Al Saedan Real Estate company and Al Saedan family is synonymous with real estate development in the Kingdom. We have selected key projects that the company is currently undergoing.
Elegance Tower, a multi-purpose tower, is one of the most spectacular real estate projects that Al Saedan Real Estate is currently building. The tower’s strategic location right next to the emerging King Abdullah Financial District — a multi-billion dollar future financial hub for the region — makes Elegance Tower a key project for Al Saedan Real Estate. The contractor for the tower is Saudi Lebanese Tarouk and was designed by Al-Wasat SCOTIC. Elegance tower has 27 stories, 5 stories for parking amounting to 677 parking spaces, designed to offer the best commercial office space in Riyadh. Its height of 130 meters allows unprecedented panaromatic views in addition to panoramic elevators. The tower boasts a health club and swimming pool overlooking the height of 50 meters. The top of the tower is dedicated to 2 restaurants and a beautiful external garden. The total building area is 24,000 square meters and the total land area is 5695 meters. The tower is slated for completion in 2016. More information on: http://w.saedan.com/en/projects/local-projects.html?project_id=18.
Addiyar Residential Compound
With the ongoing tranformation of Saudi Arabia into an industrial powerhouse, housing has become increasingly important in the master plan. Al Saedan Real Estate — a leading real estate company in Saudi Arabia — responded to the industrial housing shortage by constructing Addiyar Residential Compound conveniently located next to Riyadh 2nd Industrial City. The compound is number one choice for all employees working in the city. The state of the art facilities and design will cater for everyday needs of families and children. The integrated housing services concept makes sure that the tenants will experience a vibrant custom-made lifestyle. ADDIYAR outdoor planning is done to the highest standards, from green parks, to kids' playgrounds, to pedestrian sidewalks, and spacious domestic streets. Families at ADDIYAR will also enjoy an easy access to the Day-Care Center. Tenants at ADDIYAR would enjoy ultimate privacy (Single / Families) and peace of mind. The integrated services and on-going maintenance is just a click away, experience fiber optic data connection, easy landline installation, 1 bill-pay stop, and many other services. The total land area is 100,000 square meters and the total building area is 140,000 square meters. Read more on: http://w.saedan.com/en/projects/local-projects.html?project_id=30&brochure=ADDYARBrouchure.pdf
Al Nifil Residential Compound
Another key project for Al Saedan Real Estate is Al Nifil Residential Compound. The compound offers ultra modern lifestyle. It boasts a world class amenities catering for luxurious living. The unique green garden central area allows for social and family interaction. An exclusive community, with just 41 vilas, Al Nifil Residential Compound enables a life of extraordinary luxury for every one. The total land area is 13,000 meter square and the total build up area is 33,000 square meters. Read more on: http://w.saedan.com/en/projects/local-projects.html?project_id=29&brochure=NAFLDEGETALPRINT.pdf
Leading Real Estate Company in Saudi Arabia
Al Saedan Real Estate is involved in land development, residential real estate, and real estate development. Each of these sectors has different competitors. Many factors are involved in making Al Saedan a leading real estate company. Al Saedan prides itself on being well organized and able to transfer all their experience from generation to generation. They know that a name isn’t enough to be successful in this market, like it was 20 years ago. Al Saedan understands that the competition is growing and the market is changing, and therefore, they must change with the times as well.
Al Saedan shifted from master developers of land to developing projects. Dr. Bader Ibrahim Ibn Saedan, General Manager of Al Saedan Real Estate states, “People want creative ideas.” He continues to explain foreigners want different demands than locals, and, likewise, locals have new ideas of what they want as well. Dr. Bader clarifies, “The market is more sophisticated than before. The company has to be more sophisticated.”
About Al Saedan
Al Saedan Real Estate is one of the leading real-estate companies in Saudi Arabia. The company has a strong expertise in master-plan developments, land development, building commercial and residential centers, selling and buying local and international real estates, providing consultation in real estates, and providing valuation and estimation services. Al Saedan is an international real estate company with projects in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Kingdom.