Islamic design award winners develop Saudi housing

MaskanArabia_HossamAlRashoudi_June2012

A major new housing scheme has been unveiled for the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh by a designer recently recognised for its ability to incorporate traditional Islamic themes into modern architecture.

Maskan Arabia is behind the project which is at three separate locations in the north of the city.

The development is part of a construction boom across the kingdom in both the housing and infrastructure areas, which is aimed at addressing a growing population, many of whom are young.

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Maskan said its focus is set to be on smaller properties because of the high demand, but it will also be catering to the higher-end market and working alongside Government on major schemes.

CEO Hossam Al Rashoudi said the company was responding to the increased need for Saudi housing It is estimated 200,000 new homes need to be built each year for the next five years if demand is to be met..

Al Rashoudi said: “Maskan Arabia is prepared to engineer the supply chain in order to cope with this demand. Our current portfolio already boasts around 600 residential units and we are determined to build more with our lined up projects such as gated compounds, residential complex and apartments.

“These properties will certainly alleviate the need for housing. To support our projects, we have pumped up our own resources and strengthened our relationship with key financial institutions while we also seek private-governmental joint partnership purposely to achieve our goal of providing an affordable and highly functional- quality housing for the market.

“We are faced with a lot of challenges on a daily basis, the high cost of lands and the inadequate supply of manpower resources are two of the top obstacles that we’re meaning to overcome while we always believe that these challenges make the best of us and will require us to think outside of the box and develop new techniques that will help us rise above it.

“As for the opportunities, the market is growing and there is a lot of actual demand. Therefore, Maskan is investing a lot to develop its internal capacities which will enable us to grow and continue to be a leader in the industry.”

The company was recently given the accolade of “Best Developer for Islamic Architectural Design” in a country-wide competition.

Al Rashoudi said: “We are very proud of our awards & accomplishments as we know that every recognition is a testament to our excellent works and service. Winning the Best Developer for Islamic Architectural Design award for our first project – AL DAR clearly manifested our expertise in integrating Islamic themes to the total architectural outlook of each property we develop.

“Our ability to blend Islamic contours and shapes with modern geometric lines/curves set our residential projects apart from the rests and made us a benchmark in this type of villa design and architecture.”

Asset management company Gulf Related has also been working on housing projects in KSA. Analyst Emile Habib said: “The Saudi population is young – 65 % are under 25 years old. Therefore the demand for new homes is enormous as people move away from their parents to start their own families.”

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