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Mega Saudi Red Sea Project to contribute to economic diversification plans for Vision 2030


by Patrick O’Callaghan, CEO of Offsite Engineering

The Mega Saudi Red Sea Project, with its ambitious agenda, looks poised to sizably contribute to the economic diversification plans of the region under the Vision 2030 agenda.

Conceptualized and announced in 2017 as a 30,000 square km stretch of islands, beaches and other attractions amidst the pristine waters of the Red Sea, the development of this massive project is in process as a zone with its own set of business regulations, relaxed social norms, and visa exemptions.

With the well thought out plan in place, this project carries with it tremendous hope in terms of growing the GDP of the kingdom by about SAR 22bn and providing meaningful employment opportunities to over 70,000 Saudi citizens. The idea and robust planning behind it appear to be designed to tangibly benefit the people of Saudi Arabia with increased income levels and at the same time attract the attention and time of a significant number of international visitors.

If all goes as intended and in keeping with the recent announcements, the first phase of this project should be complete by 2022. This phase would include airports, marinas, plush residential properties, exciting recreational facilities and up to as many as 3,000 hotel rooms for visitors.

This development presents an opportunity to use the latest building technologies available globally, thereby achieving a paradigm shift in speed and quality of delivery.  A fresh approach and unshackling of legacy building systems and technology is crucial in achieving the ambitious results and achieving this shift.

In order to build a project of this scale without compromise and on schedule, a robust mechanism that can amplify the speed of construction, without losing out on the quality standards, is a must. With the remote location of this project and its specific geographical limitations, offsite construction as a technique can be highly instrumental in efficiently delivering the scale of buildings needed.

The project’s three main objectives: (1) To become a global destination for luxury tourism (2) Economic-diversification of the Kingdom  (3) Job Creation are very well supported by Offsite Construction.

Offsite Construction, with its inherent advantages in speed and quality, gives  huge leverage to construction companies to develop these ecologically sensitive beach fronts, with minimal environmental impact along with ensuring the least on-site disruptions that are common with construction in remote areas.

Using prefabrication can ensure that all the components of the buildings are manufactured to stringent quality benchmarks and with minimal wastage. The factory built modular components, can be transported efficiently on-site and assembled robustly, eliminating unnecessary and avoidable delays due to the geographical limitations of the region and can be an essential factor in delivering the project on time and within budget.

Having their own business regulation may encourage the use of new and more effective construction techniques and we may see construction techniques like offsite construction to be adopted more readily to deliver a world class development.

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