Saudi Arabia

Saudi ArabiaThe Oil Kingdom

  • Publié(e)(s) 31 juillet 2014
  • Mis(e)(s) à jour le 31 juillet 2014

Saudi Arabia straddles the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf, a strategic position that gives the oil kingdom access to mature Western markets as well as Southern emerging markets.

Rooted in Islamic teachings, Arab customs and an ancient heritage, the country has earned a solid reputation for its international schools and health care. Its population includes a sizable contingent of expats from other Arab states, Western nations and the Indian subcontinent who’ve brought their specialized technical expertise to this corner of the world.

This Middle East powerhouse is considered by many to have a stable, fast-growing economy with a young demographic profile. More Saudis are enjoying personal prosperity, and land ownership is seen as both a long-term investment and status symbol. Domestic help is affordable and petrol is famously inexpensive.

The positive economic outlook and rapid rate of urbanization is fueling demand for high quality real estate in Saudi Arabia. In many areas, that housing demand is outstripping supply.

Restrictions on foreign real estate ownership have eased. Legally resident non-Saudis can own property--except for in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina--once a license is obtained from the Ministry of Interior. Restrictions apply.

Riyadh and Jeddah are two of the most desirable cities for Saudi Arabia real estate investment.

Riyadh is the Saudi capital, its largest city and one of the wealthiest. It is the kingdom’s financial and business capital, as well.  East Riyadh is known for its pricier real estate. The expat community tends to live in compounds that come fully equipped with pools, gyms and security. The compounds are commonly the center of social life. Women generally feel safer within the compounds where strict dress codes and rules regarding gender segregation do not apply.

Bold mega-projects are in development. Luxury residences will be part of the King Abdullah Economic City, for example, which is being built on the edge of the Red Sea.

According to a 2014 survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Riyadh and Jeddah are two of the least expensive cities in world when it comes to living costs.

Jeddah is the country’s main seaport and a gateway for religious tourism. Mecca is about 30 miles away.  Despite its proximity, Jeddah is considered one of the more relaxed of Saudi Arabia’s major cities. Homes in the upscale north Jeddah area are especially coveted. The exclusive beach resorts here are frequented by wealthy Saudi families. Golfing, horseback riding and sailing are among the lures of this Red Sea coast city.

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Content Producer Iyna Bort Caruso