Saudi developer Raza plans 7,000 residential units by 2020
by Paromita Dey
State-owned property developer, Raza, is planning to bring in 7,000 residential units in Saudi Arabia by 2020, its chief executive Waleed Aleisa told Argaam in an interview.
Previously known as Al Ra’idah, Raza is the real estate management arm of Saudi Public Pension Agency (PPA) and launched its operations this month under a new identity.
“We are planning to introduce 7,000 residential units in Saudi Arabia by 2020. Out of which, 2,500 units will be in Jeddah and 2,250 units will be in Riyadh,” Aleisa said.
Raza currently manages a total asset under management (AUM) of approximately SAR 13 billion covering 2 million square meters (sqm) of office, mixed-use and community developments across Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.
The company is on a path of significant business expansion and Aleisa highlighted that the catalyst for this is the changing lifestyle of the young Saudi workforce.
“Majority of the Saudi workforce is under 30; most of them want to live in integrated communities,” he said.
“The current real estate scenario in Saudi Arabia consists only of standalone villas and buildings. We are trying to change that; moving towards an organized sector and creating more integrated mixed-use communities,” Aleisa added.
The chief also charted out a five-year growth strategy for the firm wherein place-making and developing integrated communities will double the company’s portfolio to nearly SAR26 billion in AUM by 2024.
The current occupancy rates across its portfolio stand at 85 percent with some of the prominent developments such as Digital City in Riyadh close to fully leased.
“Saudi is a big market and we want to focus on it for the next five years. In keeping with our commitment to professionalize the market, the next few months will see us introducing new market concepts to Saudi Arabia that enhance integrated community living,” Aleisa noted.