Sheikh Abdullatif Al Shelash says an innovative new type of real estate is emerging in the Saudi region — and it’s something that’s never been seen before.
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With the population expanding, the middle class flourishing, and more women entering the workforce, all eyes are on Saudi Arabia as visionary dream cities emerge. Abdullatif Al Shelash says it’s time for the world to witness real estate options in the Kingdom that no one else is doing. It’s the dawn of a new, progressive day for Saudi Arabia with an unleashing of urban plans seemingly projected from the future.
Eventually, holograms, high-speed railways, and flying taxis are going to be on the menu for everyday life there. If Saudi Arabia has its way, flat cities will soon go the way of VHS tapes and the compact disc.
“That just gives a taste of what could really be coming in terms of construction and the real estate sector in Saudi,” Al Shelash says. “They’re going to be [designing] more developments in a different way that will offer things that other old cities cannot really do.”
One such futuristic fantasy city is Neom’s The Line — a car- and road-free linear city with a $200 billion price tag that will be home to 1.5 million adventurous people. The unreal real estate project will feature twin skyscrapers slated to be the among the tallest in the world. The towers, which will soar 1,640 feet tall, will be mixed-use properties with residential, retail, and office space.
Dubbed “revolutionary urbanism,” The Line is a city based on zero carbon emissions with a high walkability factor.
“At Neom, a climate-first approach to sustainable development is intrinsic to all their plans and they are working with researchers, educators, startups, and investors to make this a reality,” states neom.directory.
Unusual Design Coming to Saudi Arabia
In 2024, Saudi Arabia will offer an extraordinary new seahorse-shaped island called Sindalah that will house a yacht club, three luxury resorts, 86 piers, and other over-the-top amenities including plenty of shopping with 51 luxury retailers and a spa and wellness center. The island is gearing up to entice 2,400 visitors per day by 2028 and will be a gateway to the Red Sea.
“Sindalah is a new frontier for leisure, exploration, and self-fulfillment,” Antoni Vives, Neom’s chief urban planning officer, told Arabian Business magazine. “We want to provide new and improved experiences in this world with sustainability, connectivity, and joy in mind. If we achieve this, anything beyond that would be added value.”
Climbing the Mountains of Neom
Projected to be finished by 2026, Trojena at Neom will feature year-round outdoor skiing, an artificial freshwater lake, more than 3,600 apartments and hotel rooms, and more than 100 indoor and outdoor recreational experiences. About 40% of world travelers will be able to access it within a six-hour plane flight.
“Trojena represents Neom’s values and bold plans as a land where nature and innovative technologies come together to form a unique global experience,” Neom CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr said in a press release. “This new development is a major contribution to achieving Neom’s long-term ambitions by adhering to the principles of sustainability and utilizing state-of-the-art technology and engineering across various disciplines to make Neom an all-round and attractive world-class destination.”
Trojena is preparing to accommodate 700,000 visitors annually and become home to 7,000 permanent residents. Other architectural wonders it will offer are lakeside luxury slope residences alongside mansions with panoramic views.
Neom’s Oxagon Will Offer Clean Energy Global Trade
In further efforts to make Saudi Arabia more sustainable and bring ingenious products to market, Neom’s city of Oxagon will create a significant shift for manufacturing, according to Al-Nasr. It will be the first fully integrated port and supply chain ecosystem for Neom. From artificial intelligence to sustainable food production, Oxagon will use education and research to further Saudi Arabia’s future. Al-Nasr said in a press release, “Oxagon will be a comprehensive cognitive city that provides exceptional livability for its residents.”
Oxagon is projected to provide 70,000 jobs within the next seven years and will be the world’s largest floating structure. “We will have one of the world’s largest hydrogen production facilities, forming the basis of our hydrogen economy,” says Joshua Steiner, Oxagon’s executive director of development and investments. “Half of our city will be over the 600-meter-deep Red Sea. The intention being to consciously minimize the impact to the surrounding land and coastline by concentrating the development into our octagon shape, with half of it on the water.”
Sheikh Abdullatif Al Shelash Shares How Saudi Real Estate Will Continue To Set New Precedents
“Right now, starting a new city from scratch offers more opportunity to designers, to architects, to really come up with a new concept of designs,” Sheikh Abdullatif Al Shelash says.
As a business leader, Al Shelash likes to not only study Saudi real estate trends, but to analyze Saudi Arabia’s role in the global market. Construction in the Kingdom is evolving and getting more streamlined and organized, according to Abdullatif Al Shelash. As a partner in Alaqtar Real Estate Development Company, he’s been at the forefront of many cutting-edge Saudi residential projects. His company has been focusing on developing residential properties in the Qassim region north of the city of Buraydah. Alaqtar obtained the Al Salman Hotel in Buraydah. It’s not only one of the oldest hotels in Saudi Arabia, but also part of a larger plan to beef up the popularity of the up-and-coming area.
As apartment prices have climbed in Riyadh and Jeddah thanks to more employment opportunities, Riyadh is gaining more investors outside of Saudi Arabia. The hope for the country is to attract more tourists.
Part of Saudi’s real estate boom can be attributed to loans getting easier to obtain and banks having a better grasp on what’s happening in the real estate market.
“It was a bit difficult [to get loans],” Al Shelash admits. “Right now, I think it’s much easier.”