SAUDI ARABIA - Real Estate & Construction
David Grover has almost 35 years of experience working across master-planned projects. Prior to joining ROSHN, he served as a group board director at Mace Group in the UK. Grover also held the position of CEO of Mace Developments. He has extensive experience in the delivery of complex, large-scale, high-profile development programs in Europe and Asia, including the London 2012 Olympic Games, Canary Wharf, the Shard and Paddington Basin, in addition to multiple infrastructure and mixed-use projects. Grover received a bachelor of science degree in quantity surveying from the University of Birmingham and a master of science specializing in construction law from King’s College London.
One of the key objectives of Vision 2030 is hitting 70% home ownership by 2030. ROSHN was formed to produce homes quickly all around the Kingdom so people can start owning homes. We were focused on low-cost homes, and we have since shifted the DNA of the business to more open market pricing homes, namely selling homes at the right market price compared to competitors in integrated communities. It is unusual in Saudi to walk into a community where homes have already been done, because usually projects are built from scratch. We are working on a walkable city where everything is within a five to 10-minute walk from homes and are setting new quality standards and instilling a new lifestyle is the heart of our brand. We have over 2,000 schools to build in one go, the biggest school program in history. We have 1,000 mosques and millions of retail and commercial units, hospitals, and sewage treatment and power generation plants. We have crossed every sector in real estate. In terms of rental housing products, as part of our master plan we will own a few thousand rental units and operate them. This also supports the creation of new jobs in the country. We are working on investing in a portfolio of companies to increase GDP and generate jobs. There is a high number of immigrant labor within the country and moving away from that will generate jobs within Saudi. We can focus on mechanization and factory-based techniques to build businesses within the country. We also support local developers, as we have established some land partnerships. We are selling portions of land to other developer. We give them a design book. We are partnering with Saudi smaller developers and build on the land in a supportive way, the plug-in to our community basically.
At the moment, the community is using fossil fuel for electricity; however, with the government pushing the green agenda, our customers will soon purchase green energy for the first time. Looking at homes, the highest amount of electricity is used to run air conditioning. We are bringing in tech into homes where users can control the AC through their phones, so they do not need it to be always running. If we take out the air conditioning load, we can run lights and hot water via solar panels. We have proven that we use 20% less energy than Saudi energy code. We have a great deal of greenery in our master plan, and these are being watered with wastewater from homes. We recycle all the used water through a sewage recycling treatment plant that we built ourselves and pump back into irrigation systems to water all our plants. We think about water usage, electricity usage, and how to make people use their cars less by creating walkable towns or cities. It comprises many tiny things, though with the scale that we are doing, it all adds up. We are also the only developer providing e-vehicle charging points in homes. We plan to install solar panels in our parking space so that homeowners can charge their cars.
This is a part of the journey. At the moment, there is so much work needed to be done in the Kingdom; however, in the long term, the ambition of the board is for ROSHN to not only be the largest real estate developer in the Kingdom but globally as well. We are at the early stage of looking at the global market at the moment, and if we could get that moving in the next six months while the riyal is strong compared to other currencies, it would be great. With the potential European economies struggling, it would open up more purchase opportunities.
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