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80 Saudi projects worth $20b on hold

 About 80 projects worth around $20 billion have been put on hold or cancelled in Saudi Arabia due to the global economic downturn, Dubai-based research firm Proleads Global said in a report on Sunday.

“The economic crisis has not had a great effect on the rate at which projects have been cancelled in Saudi Arabia,” the report said.

“The market in Saudi Arabia is expected to maintain current levels throughout 2010, although a slight decline is expected in the education and healthcare sectors countered with an expected slight growth in commercial and retail,” said Emil Rademeyer, the firm’s director.

The report examined more than 720 projects worth more than $430 billion across all property sectors.

The figures are in stark contrast to the UAE, where over 400 projects worth more than $300 billion have been put on hold or shelved, the firm said in July.

Saudi Arabia plans to spend over $400 billion on infrastructure projects, and needs to provide 1 million new houses by 2014 to meet the needs of its growing population, according to a study by HSBC in June.

Demand for real estate in the kingdom is providing opportunities for construction firms in Dubai, who are looking at Saudi Arabia to drive their businesses.


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