International Finance
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ROSHN: Shaping Saudi’s Urban Vision

With five projects having already been launched across three Saudi regions as of February 2024, demand for ROSHN infrastructure continues to grow

As per the market research firm IMARC Group, Saudi Arabia’s residential real estate market size will exhibit a growth rate (CAGR) of 6.89% during 2024-2032. As government subsidies and financing solutions facilitate home buying galore, the property sector is stimulating economic growth, and improving living standards.

As the Kingdom’s urban landscape continues to evolve, ROSHN Group, Saudi Arabia’s leading national real estate developer and a PIF-owned giga-project, establishes itself as a visionary force.

With its vibrant developments seamlessly blending tradition with innovation, ROSHN Group is reshaping the future of the Kingdom’s urban living. Through its meticulous integration of residential, retail, commercial, and hospitality structures amongst vital green spaces, ROSHN Group has envisioned a new way of living in the Kingdom. The cover story of the March-April 2024 edition of the International Finance Magazine will talk about how the real estate venture is becoming a driving force behind Saudi’s urbanisation efforts.

A visionary mandate
As a key enabler of “Vision 2030”, ROSHN’s mandate goes beyond the conventional realms of real estate development. It has emerged as a national developer in the Saudi market, with the commitment to delivering a high standard of living and modern integrated communities to domestic customers.

The Group is building integrated developments that reflect both the Kingdom’s rich heritage and the aspirations of its people, with its residential, retail, educational, hospitality, and commercial spaces combining to establish a truly comprehensive and perhaps unmatched real estate portfolio.

As Saudi continues its emergence as one of the most dynamic and robust economies in the world, PIF-owned giga-projects have been strategically crafted to fulfil specific elements of the diversification agenda.

ROSHN has a geographic commitment as broad as Vision 2030’s goals to create a “thriving economy, a vibrant society, and an ambitious nation.” The Group is actively supporting the national vision by enhancing the quality of life and well-being of people across Saudi Arabia and using its scale to act as a catalyst for economic diversification, while working with the private sector to strengthen and localise the construction industry supply chains by working across the full gamut of real estate verticals.

With five projects having already been launched across three Saudi regions as of February 2024 and the latest sales tranche for its flagship Riyadh project SEDRA launched this month, demand for ROSHN projects continues to grow. By 2030, ROSHN seeks to enable Vision 2030’s key goals, by supporting the goal of 70% home ownership.

Building momentum
ROSHN already stands as the first PIF giga-project to deliver to customers since its flagship SEDRA community welcomed its first residents two years ahead of schedule in October 2022.

SEDRA, situated in Riyadh, will eventually encompass eight phases with 30,000 homes. It has rapidly established itself as one of the capital’s most desirable districts, with every one of the three sales tranches launched so far being sold out rapidly. Building on the demand of the first three phases, the Group recently launched sales for the fourth phase of this flagship development eventually bringing a further 4,860 units over 1.9 million square metres to the community. ‘SEDRA 4’ will also notably include a world-class sports dome, offering year-round, all-weather recreation facilities through an agreement with Saudi Sports For All (SFA). SEDRA is also closely integrated with ROSHN Front, formerly known as Riyadh Front. The Group’s acquisition and rebranding of this popular retail and commercial destination epitomises ROSHN’s strategic ability to facilitate integrated lifestyles, as SEDRA residents now benefit from privileged access to one of Riyadh’s most popular zones.

ROSHN kept up the momentum and launched ALAROUS in the storied Red Sea city of Jeddah. As 2023 arrived, the venture launched WAREFA in Riyadh, a 2,000-plus unit project expanding and enhancing one of the capital city’s most promising neighbourhoods in the Janadriyyah district. They next turned east to the iconic Dakhna Mountain of the Eastern Province’s Hafouf. Here, ROSHN’s ALFULWA project will bring a new swathe of units to market in a “ Garden City” composed of 22% green public space. October 2023 saw the cornerstones for both WAREFA and ALFULWA laid in ceremonies attended by both ROSHN and regional governmental leaders.

Turning to 2024, in February ROSHN broke ground on Jeddah’s MARAFY, the Group’s most ambitious project to date. The project, which links distinct districts with a Red Sea-fed 11km long canal, has become the first of its kind in the Kingdom, apart from becoming an instantly iconic landmark for the city. MARAFY is ROSHN’s largest mixed-use project, and will feature the venture’s signature combination of residential, retail, hospitality, leisure, commercial, and educational spaces. With MARAFY now well underway, hints about the possible announcements of new multifunctional and mixed-use projects fill the air.

Uniquely Saudi
ROSHN is fashioning fully integrated developments that enable health, well-being, and fulfilment by combining multiple real estate verticals in a human-centric way. It’s a new way of living in Saudi Arabia, where communities and lives are living beyond walls in developments designed from the ground up to create a daily dialogue between a uniquely Saudi past, present, and future.

ROSHN has strived to create a real estate offering that is unique in the Kingdom with a range far wider than just homes. Interlinked facilities, including education, sports areas, shopping malls and commercial areas, cafes and restaurants, and healthcare centres, integrate and interact to encourage genuine community-focused lifestyles.

ROSHN’s master planning of its projects is creating open, green, and walkable neighbourhoods that will empower social interaction, revitalising a way of life that was once much more widespread in the Kingdom. Furthermore, a ROSHN street is a “Living Street”, with pedestrian priority, low-speed limits, and natural shade enabling 15-minute walkability through these green spaces to community amenities.

The Group is also committed to ensuring that its projects become an integral part of the Kingdom’s social, urban, and cultural fabric. Walk those living streets of SEDRA or look at the designs of any of ROSHN’s projects and you see exactly how this ambition manifests itself. In SEDRA and WAREFA, buildings hark back to the traditional architectural vernacular of the region, while in ALAROUS and MARAFY in Jeddah and the Eastern Province’s ALFULWA, different forms and colours speak to those regions’ historic buildings.

Meanwhile, the natural environment has become part of the projects as well with the design teams prioritising the preservation of habitats and drainage patterns in the communities, while also adding distinctive green public spaces coloured by native flora in these projects.

Sustainability and ethics at heart
Sustainability is at the core of ROSHN’s operations. It promotes walking and green micro-transport solutions to smart city projects that improve the efficiency of irrigation, street lighting, and waste management. Coupled with cutting-edge materials that cut water and electricity usage, a robust material and community recycling programme, and a wide-ranging planting programme, ROSHN is setting new standards in sustainable development.

ROSHN has achieved the “Diamond category” in the Kingdom’s Mostadam sustainability ratings as well as the internationally recognised “BSI Kitemark Certificate” for Saudi smart cities, which includes the “Smart City Operating Models” for “Sustainable Communities ISO”. Recently, ROSHN was presented with an award for the “Best Waste Diversion Initiative of the Year” by the “Saudi Arabia Cleaning, Waste Management & FM Awards” in recognition of its innovations in that area.

ROSHN GROUP also engages in a daily embrace of the same values it promotes: integrity, responsibility, empowerment, opportunity, trust, safety, and sustainability. These guide ROSHN’s internal operations, where employees are engaged in feedback processes, and offered regular opportunities to upskill their existing talents. The Group is playing its part in imbibing these values in the next generation of the Saudi workforce with its HIMAM graduate programme, which has seen over 70 graduates taken under the ROSHN wing so far.

ROSHN is also setting new standards for corporate conduct, apart from establishing itself as a partner of choice for suppliers. In 2023, ROSHN marked 35 million safe working hours and joined the “United Nations Global Compact” on responsible business practice, thereby becoming the first Saudi giga-project to do so.

The Group has also been recognised with awards as wide-ranging as “Best Developer in the GCC” by Construction Week, the “Best Place to Work in Saudi Arabia” for the second year running by the Best Places to Work organisation, certification as a Top Employer for the past two years, and for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiative of the Year.

ROSHN also has numerous ISO certifications, becoming the first Gulf-based developer to secure ISO 9001 for Quality Management and the first company of any kind in the India, Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (IMETA) region to achieve the BSI Kitemark for Smart Cities, ISO 37106:2021.

Partnerships to deliver
As it quickly expanded across the country of Saudi Arabia, ROSHN recognised from the outset the critical importance of establishing strong and flexible supply networks rooted in resilient local and global collaborations. The year 2023 witnessed a significant shift through the establishment of numerous strategic business alliances and agreements with suppliers hailing from various regions in Saudi Arabia and beyond.

ROSHN has secured significant partnerships to enhance the development of essential and lifestyle facilities. Among these partnerships is a SAR 7.7 billion agreement with China Harbour Engineering Company. Additionally, ROSHN has entered into multi-million SAR agreements with key Saudi suppliers. These include PC Marine Services for canal and bridge construction in MARAFY, Abyat for the design and supply of approximately 12,000 kitchens in future ROSHN communities, and Saudi Pan Kingdom Company for primary and secondary infrastructure in upcoming western Saudi communities.

As ROSHN entered 2024, the venture took the game to the next level by hosting the “ROSHN Supply Chain Forum” during which it worked to enhance connections, highlight prospects, and forge fresh collaborations by convening a diverse group of private sector suppliers and contractors under one roof. The event proved to be highly successful, resulting in the signing of eight new agreements with private sector partners from Saudi Arabia and around the globe. These agreements aim to localise manufacturing, pioneer innovative materials, and enhance the efficacy of ROSHN’s partnership procedures.

A highlight of the “ROSHN Supply Chain Forum” was the venture’s agreement with Partanna, the world’s first carbon-negative concrete manufacturer. The collaboration will see the two entities establish the Middle East’s first carbon-negative concrete production facilities, ensuring the spread of this revolutionary technology across the region, apart from cementing ROSHN’s status as a global pioneer in sustainable development.

This approach has not only ensured minimal impact on ROSHN from supply chain disruption, but it has also allowed the venture to have as broad an impact on Vision 2030’s goals as it has on Saudi Arabia’s map, in particular economic diversification targets. This has been achieved through job creation, the expansion of emerging economic domains, and the localisation of manufacturing processes. This process is particularly serving as a catalyst for aspiring Saudi entrepreneurs and invigorating local economies. ROSHN envisions creating a substantial number of job opportunities in the Kingdom by 2030, thereby contributing significantly to the non-oil sector’s GDP and aligning closely with the overarching goals of Vision 2030.

A winning developer
Recently, ROSHN won International Finance’s “Best Community Residential Project Developer” award for their exceptional performance in 2023. SEDRA, ROSHN’s flagship development in Riyadh, stands as a testament to the company’s commitment to fostering sustainable, integrated lifestyles.

Comprising eight phases and over 30,000 residential units, SEDRA’s strategic location and traditional architecture make it a highly desirable living space. SEDRA is also a pioneer in sustainable design, as it boasts reductions in energy and water usage that are above and beyond the mandated “Saudi Building Code”.

ROSHN’s other projects, such as WAREFA, ALAROUS, MARAFY, and ALFULWA, also uphold sustainability as a core principle. Emphasising walkable thoroughfares, solar energy, advanced insulation technologies, and abundant natural lighting, these projects play a crucial role in achieving ROSHN’s sustainability objectives. The recent collaboration with EVIQ, Saudi Arabia’s pioneering electric vehicle charging network, marks a significant achievement in promoting electric vehicle adoption in a nation heavily dependent on cars. This partnership will result in the establishment of charging stations throughout ROSHN’s developments, contributing to a more sustainable future.

ROSHN’s Jeddah communities are continuing this legacy of innovation. ALAROUS, ROSHN’s first community in the Red Sea city, and now MARAFY, both showcase the Group’s signature integrated approach, emphasis on sustainable practices, and commitment to traditional architectural heritage, combining residences, amenities, and human-centric design.

The incorporation of classical Jeddah architectural elements pays tribute to the rich Saudi heritage, blending innovation with respect for tradition. Situated prominently as the primary residential area within the revolutionary MARAFY canal project, ALAROUS emerges as the premier destination in Jeddah, a city that ROSHN endeavours to elevate into the ranks of the world’s top 100 most livable cities by 2030.

ALFULWA, ROSHN’s first venture into the Eastern Province, has emerged as a harmonious blend of nature, history, and modern living, centred near the iconic Dakhna Mountain on the outskirts of Hofuf. With an abundance of native flora, and a design inspired by the region’s architectural heritage, ALFULWA is exemplifying ROSHN’s commitment to creating communities that immerse residents in the beauty of their surroundings.

ROSHN now foresees an evolutionary expedition through different sectors, extending beyond its premises. The Group is carefully designing multifaceted environments that foster centres of health, wellness, and a dynamic social fabric. ROSHN sees its role as shaping a new way of living where opulent regional architectural patterns intertwine with the pinnacle of contemporary design.

Cementing change in Saudi Arabia
ROSHN has assumed a responsibility that exceeds its construction sector activities. It has far-reaching implications for Vision 2030’s goals, a thriving economy, a vibrant society, and an ambitious nation. ROSHN’s developments act as a catalyst for entrepreneurial Saudis, apart from supporting domestic supply chains, generating jobs, and stimulating local economies. By 2030, ROSHN aims to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the Kingdom, making them an important instrument of national development.

ROSHN’s ‘YUHYEEK’ CSR initiative uses its size and reach as a PIF-powered giga-project to extend its commitment to quality of life, sustainability, and community building beyond its projects, benefitting Saudis across the Kingdom through partnerships that uplift, empower, and inspire.

From inspiring the love of reading at Riyadh and Jeddah Book Fairs to supporting events like LIV Golf and the Zahra Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, ROSHN has become a catalyst for a vibrant Saudi society.

Recognising the importance of local arts in the formation of the Kingdom’s emerging identity, ROSHN has also engaged in sponsorships of the Diriyah Biennale and the Tuwaiq Sculpture Symposium. YUHYEEK is continually seeking new partners to deliver benefits to Saudi society, demonstrated further by its partnership with the Tarmeem Charity to renovate homes for the needy.

ROSHN is dedicated to fostering ambition within the nation, boasting a commendable 72% Saudization rate alongside a 28% female employment rate. A groundbreaking initiative in Saudi Arabia, ROSHN’s RETURN Programme not only propels societal advancement but also symbolises inclusivity. By providing compensated training opportunities to women rejoining the workforce, this programme is intricately crafted to nurture, empower, educate, and instil confidence in those seeking to reignite their professional journeys.

Aiming to become one of the world’s most diversified real estate ventures, ROSHN continues to make long-term investments across Saudi Arabia, muscling up its presence across a range of verticals.

ROSHN is committed to elevating the quality of life, fostering economic diversification and prosperity, and contributing to the realisation of Vision 2030’s objectives by hosting top-tier events in the Kingdom to enhance global involvement.

ROSHN winning International Finance’s “Best Community Residential Project Developer” award is a testament to the venture’s transformative impact on Saudi Arabia’s real estate landscape. Standing tall, the venture truly symbolises the convergence of tradition and modernity, sustainability, and innovation.

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