These discretionary hopes come amid challenges facing the sector as a result of the Corona crisis, which cast a shadow over the Saudi contracting activity, where the Saudi Contractors Association said, last month, that a survey conducted by 600 contracting companies in Saudi Arabia revealed the challenges facing the Saudi contractors, emerged in the cash flow, and postponed Projects, and the supply chain are disrupted, pointing to the expectation that projects will be awarded by 20% this year due to the pandemic.
For its part, operating sources reported that the Saudi market is nominated for an active, stimulating return to the construction sector gradually, noting that the boom in the conclusion of construction contracts anchored in the past year 2019 for various regions of the country supports the restoration of this activity to complete the commitment to implementation during the current year, and record growth by the first quarter of Next year 2021. More details in the next report:
Fahd Al Hammadi, the former president of the General Federation of the Arab Contractors Association, expected to witness the beginning of next year 2021 with the maximum flow of giant projects in the Kingdom to feed the construction sector, especially in the development projects expected to rise again, referring to the Red Sea development project after raising the value of contracts It put it more than doubled in 2020, increasing from 2.3 billion riyals ($ 613 million) in 2019 to 6.8 billion riyals ($ 1.8 billion) in 2020.
Al-Hammadi acknowledged that the outbreak of the Corona Virus greatly affected the construction sector, with the sector completely stopping from work due to the interruption of its employees from engaging in activities throughout the period of severe restrictions and precautions during the past three months, which affected its economic contribution, in addition to other macro challenges, which stands out Including low oil prices, indicating that spending in the construction sector during 2020 was negatively affected by the exposure of the oil sector to pressure since the spread of the Coruna virus.
For his part, the economic analyst, Fadel Al-Buainain, assured that the construction sector is one of the sectors most affected by the suspension of economic activities, especially the largest segment of fixed expenditures in construction companies concentrated in wages and salaries, as a result of the volume of employment in construction companies, which means that the consequences of the spread of a virus Corona over these large companies, he added, “hope remains that the return of activity will be strong, which will contribute to reducing losses and returning to profits.”
Al-Buainain said that economic activities would continue to open without sudden problems to ensure the gradual recovery of the sector.
He added that this needs to be understood by workers in the sector and the beneficiaries of its services and the government that will have a great burden in dealing with the economic repercussions of Corona, adding in his talk to the «Middle East» that 2020 is a year for forgotten by the affected business sectors, and therefore the next year is a year Real recovery and expected growth, provided that the current situation is handled efficiently contributing to rapid treatment.
For his part, Dr. Abdullah Al-Maghlouth, a specialist in real estate and development affairs, believes that the return of the construction sector in Saudi Arabia will be strong after the pandemic, proving that the sector witnessed a great leap during the year 2019 in terms of the number of contracts concluded, and its awarded value of 197.1 billion riyals (52.6 billion Dollars), representing a marked increase of 95 per cent compared to 2018, which increases expectations that the actions and initiatives taken by the Kingdom’s government will be reflected in the construction sector to enhance the continuity of those contracts.
And Al-Maghlooth stated that the Kingdom worked to enhance the capabilities of the development infrastructure through many programs to achieve vision during 2019, and in the first quarter of 2020, with a value of contracts of 45.2 billion riyals, which reflects the flexibility of the Saudi construction sector, expecting that these obligations will be reflected positively On the contracting sector later in the year and next year.
According to Al-Maghlooth, Saudi Arabia is currently leading the construction sector in the Gulf countries with more than 5 thousand projects, with a value exceeding $ 1.6 trillion in the pre-implementation stage, all of which are working to advance local development in the country.
Al-Maglouth predicted in his expectations the projects announced by the state, including examples, for example, more than 150 development projects valued at $ 3.27 billion in the Tabuk region (northwest of the Kingdom) alone, and the launch of more than 600 new projects in the Qassim region (400 km northwest of the capital Riyadh), at a cost of $ 4.36 billion, in addition to some 200 modern projects in Hail, which is also in the north of the country, with a value of $ 1.14 billion.